Key Ratios and Metrics for Fundamental Analysis

Key Ratios and Metrics for Fundamental Analysis
Key Ratios and Metrics for Fundamental Analysis

Fundamental analysis plays a crucial role in identifying quality investment opportunities. Investors can gain valuable insights into a company’s operating performance, financial health, and long-term prospects by analysing key financial ratios and metrics. However, with so many numbers on the balance sheet and income statement, it can be not easy to know where to start.

This article will explore the most critical ratios and metrics we focus on as part of my fundamental analysis process. We’ll discuss what each ratio indicates, how to calculate it, and examples of favourable vs unfavourable levels. By understanding these fundamental analysis tools, you’ll be better equipped to evaluate a company’s strengths and weaknesses compared to its competitors.

Profitability Ratios

Profitability ratios measure a company’s ability to generate earnings and profits from its operations. These ratios are essential for evaluating how efficiently a company uses its resources to create shareholder value.

One of the most common profitability ratios is the return on equity (ROE), which measures the net income generated per dollar of shareholder equity. A high ROE indicates that a company efficiently utilises its shareholders’ investments to generate profits, making it an attractive investment opportunity. On the other hand, a low or negative ROE could be a red flag for potential investors.

Another essential profitability ratio is the gross profit margin, which measures how much each sales dollar is left after subtracting the cost of goods sold. A high gross profit margin indicates that a company has a strong pricing strategy and can maintain healthy profit margins. At Saxo, you can find more information on fundamental analysis education based on their insights and analyses.

Liquidity Ratios

Liquidity ratios determine a company’s ability to meet its short-term financial obligations. These ratios are crucial for assessing a company’s financial stability and ability to withstand economic downturns. The current ratio, calculated by dividing current assets by current liabilities, measures a company’s ability to pay off its short-term debt with its current assets. A high current ratio indicates a company has sufficient liquidity to meet its short-term obligations.

The quick ratio is another vital liquidity ratio considering only the most liquid assets (such as cash and marketable securities) about short-term liabilities. This ratio provides a more conservative assessment of a company’s ability to meet its short-term obligations, as it excludes inventory which may not be easily converted into cash.

Efficiency Ratios

Efficiency ratios are critical metrics to evaluate how effectively a company utilises its assets and resources. By analysing these ratios, businesses can identify potential inefficiencies in their operations and gain valuable insights into areas for improvement.

One example of an efficiency ratio is the inventory turnover ratio, which measures the speed at which a company sells and replenishes its inventory. A high inventory turnover indicates that a company has efficient inventory management practices, enabling it to convert inventory into revenue quickly. Conversely, a low inventory turnover may suggest a company is overstocked or encountering challenges in selling its products.

Another essential efficiency ratio is the receivables turnover ratio, which assesses how efficiently a company collects customer payments. A high receivables turnover ratio signifies a company has adequate credit and collection policies, ensuring timely cash receipt. Conversely, a low receivables turnover ratio may indicate potential issues with customer creditworthiness or collection procedures.

Debt Ratios

Debt ratios are critical in assessing a company’s financial leverage and capacity to fulfil long-term debt obligations. These ratios provide valuable insights into a company’s financial well-being and risk profile. One such ratio is the debt-to-equity ratio, obtained by dividing total debt by equity. This ratio helps evaluate the extent to which a company’s assets are funded through debt. A higher debt-to-equity ratio indicates a heavier reliance on borrowing, potentially posing challenges in meeting debt obligations.

Another significant debt ratio is the interest coverage ratio, which gauges a company’s ability to pay interest on its outstanding debt. A higher interest coverage ratio signifies a lower risk of default, making the company a more appealing investment opportunity. Understanding these debt ratios empowers investors and analysts to make informed decisions about a company’s financial health and risk exposure. By delving into the details of a company’s debt structure, one can better understand its long-term sustainability and overall financial stability.


Integrating these diverse ratios and metrics into fundamental analysis can equip investors with a well-rounded view of a company’s operational efficiency, financial health, and overall business performance. When used together, the insights from profitability, liquidity, efficiency, and debt ratios allow for a more informed assessment of investment quality and potential risks.