What is the Equity Multiplier?

The equity multiplier helps us understand how much of the company’s assets are financed by the shareholders’ equity and is a simple ratio of total assets to total equity. If this ratio is higher, then it means financial leverage (total debt to equity) is higher. And if the ratio turns out to be lower, the financial leverage is lower. We note from the below graph that Go daddy has a higher multiplier at 6.73x, whereas Facebook’s Multiplier is lower at 1.09x.

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Along with finding out each unit of total assets for each unit of total equity, it also tells a lot about how much the company has financed its assets through external sources of financeExternal Sources Of FinanceAn external source of finance is the one where the finance comes from outside the organization and is generally bifurcated into different categories where first is long-term, being shares, debentures, grants, bank loans; second is short term, being leasing, hire purchase; and the short-term, including bank overdraft, debt factoring.read more, i.e., debt.

Let’s take an example to illustrate this.

Equity Multiplier Examples

Let’s say that Company Z has total assets of $100,000. Its total equity is $20,000. Calculate equity multiplier.

This is a simple example, but after calculating this ratio, we would be able to know how much assets are financed by equity and how much assets are financed by debt.

Or, Multiplier = $100,000 / $20,000 = 5.

The multiplier is 5 means that total assets are financed by 20% of equity ($20,000/$100,000 * 100 = 20%) and the rest (i.e. 80%) is financed through debt.

This is an important consideration since financial leverageFinancial LeverageFinancial Leverage Ratio measures the impact of debt on the Company’s overall profitability. Moreover, high & low ratio implies high & low fixed business investment cost, respectively. read more would be higher/ lower depending on the multiplier (whether the multiplier is higher or lower).


As an investor, if you look at a company and its multiplier, you would only be able to tell whether the company has been using high or low financial leverage ratios.

However, to know whether the company is at risk or not, you need to do something else as well.

You need to pull out other similar companies in the same industry and calculate equity multiplier.

If you see that the result is similar to the company you want to invest in, you would be able to understand that high or low financial leverage ratios are the norm of the industry.

That means if the company is financing its assets more by debt financing and the other companies in the industry have been doing the same, then this may be the norm.

But financing the assets through debt is still a very risky business. That’s why you need to go to the advanced calculation and look at the financial leverage ratiosLeverage RatiosDebt-to-equity, debt-to-capital, debt-to-assets, and debt-to-EBITDA are examples of leverage ratios that are used to determine how much debt a company has taken out against its assets or equity.read more in detail.

Let us now look at Multipliers of some sectors

Auto Manufacturer Example

Let us look at the multiplier of some of the prominent Auto Manufacturer

NameAssets To Shareholder Equity
Ford Motor8.16x
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles5.44x
General Motors5.06x
Honda Motor Co2.60x
Toyota Motor2.78x
Tata Motors4.99x
We note that the equity multiplier of Ferrari is highest at 11.85x, whereas, the Multiplier of Honda Motor Co is lowest in the group at 2.60xOverall we note that Multiplier is relatively higher for this sector

Internet and Content Companies Example

Let us now look at the Multipliers for Internet Companies.

NameAssets To Shareholder Equity
Phoenix New Media1.46x

We note that the biggies like Facebook (1.10x), Twitter (1.49x), and Alphabet (1.20x) have lower Equity Multipliers.

GoDaddy has the highest Multiplier in this group at 6.73x.Yelp and Facebook have the lowest Multiplier in this group at 1.10x.

Global Banks Multipliers

Below is the list of Multipliers for Global Banks.

NameAssets To Shareholder Equity
Bank of America8.20x
Bank of Montreal16.00x
Bank of Nova Scotia15.25x
Canadian Imperial Bank18.21x
Credit Suisse Group19.57x
East-West Bancorp10.15x
HSBC Holdings13.54x
ING Group17.82x
JPMorgan Chase9.80x
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial21.25x
Bank of N.T Butterfield15.62x
Royal Bank of Scotland16.43x
Royal Bank of Canada16.43x
Banco Santander14.73x
Sumitomo Mitsui Financial19.24x
The Toronto-Dominion Bank17.24x
UBS Group17.44x
Westpac Banking13.90x
Wells Fargo9.67x
Overall, we note that Global Banks have higher Assets To Shareholder Equity. In most cases, Multiplier is higher than 10x.JPMorgan has an equity multiplier of 9.80x, whereas, Citigroup has a multiplier of 7.96x (lowest in this group)

Discount Stores Multipliers

Below is the list of Multiplier for Discount Stores.

NameAssets To Shareholder Equity
Big Lots2.47x
Costco Wholesale3.37x
Dollar General2.16x
Dollar Tree Stores2.91x
Ollie’s Bargain Outlet1.60x
Tuesday Morning1.80x
Wal-Mart Stores2.56x
Overall, the Equity Multiplier in this group ranges from 1.5x -3.5xTarget has the highest Multiplier at 3.42x, whereas Ollie’s Bargain Outlet has the lowest at 1.60x

Extension to Dupont Analysis

Equity Multiplier is very helpful in Dupont ROE Analysis.Under DuPont analysis, we need to use three ratios to find out the return on equityReturn On EquityReturn on Equity (ROE) represents financial performance of a company. It is calculated as the net income divided by the shareholders equity. ROE signifies the efficiency in which the company is using assets to make profit.read more.

One of the ratios under DuPont analysis is the Assets To Shareholder Equity ratio.

ROE = (Profit/Sales) x (Sales/Assets) x (Assets/Equity)

ROE = Net Profit MarginNet Profit MarginNet profit margin is the percentage of net income a company derives from its net sales. It indicates the organization"s overall profitability after incurring its interest and tax expenses.read more x Asset Turnover x Equity Multiplier

You may ask why one should calculate ROE under DuPont analysis

It is simple. If the Assets To Shareholder Equity is higher, the ROE under DuPont analysis will also be higher.

And that’s how an investor will understand whether she will invest in the company or not, meaning she will get an advanced ratio to help her figure out whether she has come to the right conclusion by choosing / or not choosing to invest in the company.

Practical example

Company Usher has total assets of $400,000. The total equity of this company is $50,000. Ramesh, an investor, wants to know the equity multiplier as well as the ROE under DuPont analysis to see whether he should invest in the company or not. That’s why he looks into the annual reportAnnual ReportAn annual report is a document that a corporation publishes for its internal and external stakeholders to describe the company"s performance, financial information, and disclosures related to its operations. Over time, these reports have become legal and regulatory requirements.read more of the company and finds out the following details

Net income for the year – $40,000Sales – $200,000

Find out the multiplier and ROE under DuPont analysis for Ramesh.

We will follow the equity multiplier formula and will put the data we have into the formula to find out the ratios.

First, let’s Calculate the equity multiplier.

Or, Assets To Shareholder Equity = $400,000 / $50,000 = 8.

That means the 1/8th (i.e., 12.5%) of total assets are financed by equity, and 7/8th (i.e., 87.5%) are by debt.

Now, let’s calculate the ROE under DuPont FormulaDuPont FormulaDuPont formula determines the return on equity (ROE), depicting the efficient utilization of shareholders" capital into the business for generating revenue. The formula is "Return on Equity (ROE) = Profit Margin * Total Asset Turnover * Leverage Factor".read more analysis.

ROE under DuPont Analysis = Profit Margin * Assets Turnover Ratio * Equity Multiplier

Or, ROE under DuPont Analysis = Net Income / Sales * Sales / Total Assets * Total Assets / Total Equity

Or, ROE under DuPont Analysis = $40,000 / $200,000 * $200,000 / $400,000 * $400,000 / $50,000

Or, ROE under DuPont Analysis = 1/5 * ½ * 8 = 0.2 * 0.5 * 8 = 0.8.

Why should an investor depend on DuPont analysis after looking through multiplier?

This can be a big question in the investor’s mind.

The answer is threefold.

In Assets To Shareholder Equity, we get a sense of how much financially leveraged a company is.

If the equity multiplier is higher, financial leverage is higher and vice versa.

But what if the investor isn’t convinced only with the financial leverage?

Then, he needs to look at other aspects of the equation, i.e., the operational efficiency of the company and also the efficiency of the utilization of assets.

By calculating the ROE under DuPont analysis, the investor gets a clear idea of how much operational efficiency the company has plus how much efficiency of the assets the company has achieved.

In the example above, along with equity multiplier, we get an overview of operational efficiency (i.e., 20%) and efficiency of the utilization of the assets (i.e., 50%).

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By looking at the whole picture, now an investor can decide whether to invest in the company or not.

Equity Multiplier Video

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This has been a guide to Equity Multiplier, its formula, examples, and sector ratios. You may have a look at the below readings to enhance your knowledge on Ratio Analysis –