What is the current ratio?
It's a measure of a company's liquidity. It gauges the extent a company is able to pay its short-term liabilities with its current assets. It's also known as the working capital ratio. A higher current ratio indicates that the company is in good financial health.
Where have you heard about current ratios?
Investors and financial analysts use the current ratio to gauge a company's financial health against other companies in the same industry, or to track how the company's short-term solvency has changed over time.
What you need to know about current ratios.
The current ratio is calculated using this formula:
Current ratio = current assets / current liabilities
For example, a company with assets of $500,000 and liabilities of $250,000 would have a current ratio of 2 (2:1).
A ratio of less than 1 indicates that the company wouldn't be able to pay its liabilities if they all became due and may be heading towards insolvency.
The greater the ratio the more solvent the company currently is. On the other hand, a ratio that is too high might indicate that a company is not using its assets or short term financing efficiently.
The current ratio is a useful measure of liquidity but it has its limitations as it is the most basic form of assessment and is best used alongside other ratios of liquidity, such as working capital or the quick ratio, when evaluating a potential investment.
Find out more about current ratios.
Read our definitions to find out about other measures of liquidity like the cash ratio, the quick ratio and the operating cash flow ratio.