

Liquidity Measurement Ratios: Introduction
By Richard Loth (Contact  Biography)
The first ratios we'll take a look at in this tutorial are the liquidity ratios. Liquidity ratios attempt to measure a company's ability to pay off its shortterm debt obligations. This is done by comparing a company's most liquid assets (or, those that can be easily converted to cash), its shortterm liabilities.
In general, the greater the coverage of liquid assets to shortterm liabilities the better as it is a clear signal that a company can pay its debts that are coming due in the near future and still fund its ongoing operations. On the other hand, a company with a low coverage rate should raise a red flag for investors as it may be a sign that the company will have difficulty meeting running its operations, as well as meeting its obligations.
The biggest difference between each ratio is the type of assets used in the calculation. While each ratio includes current assets, the more conservative ratios will exclude some current assets as they aren't as easily converted to cash.
The ratios that we'll look at are the current, quick and cash ratios and we will also go over the cash conversion cycle, which goes into how the company turns its inventory into cash.
To find the data used in the examples in this section, please see the Securities and Exchange Commission's website to view the 2005 Annual Statement of Zimmer Holdings.



Current Ratio
The current ratio is a liquidity ratio measuring a company's ... 
Cash Asset Ratio
The current value of marketable securities and cash, divided ... 
Quick Ratio
The quick ratio is an indicator of a company’s shortterm liquidity. ... 
Cash Ratio
The ratio of a company's total cash and cash equivalents to its ... 
Overall Liquidity Ratio
A measurement of a company’s capacity to pay for its liabilities ... 
Current Assets
A balance sheet account that represents the value of all assets ...

How can the current ratio be misinterpreted by investors?
Statistics can be misleading, and numbers on the balance sheet are no exception. Find out how the current ratio can confuse ... Read Answer >> 
What are some alternative liquidity ratios to the cash ratio?
Learn what the cash ratio measures, and understand what two other liquidity ratios can be used by a company to replace the ... Read Answer >> 
What is the relationship between the cash ratio and liquidity?
Understand the relationship between a company's cash ratio and its liquidity. Learn what the cash ratio measures and what ... Read Answer >> 
What are the main differences between the current ratio and the quick ratio?
Find out how the quick ratio and the current ratio can offer different views on a company's ability to pay off liabilities. Read Answer >> 
What is the formula for calculating the current ratio?
Find out how to calculate the current ratio and what that result can tell you about a potential investment. Read Answer >> 
How can a company quickly increase its liquidity ratio?
Discover what high and low values in the liquidity ratio mean and what steps companies can take to improve liquidity ratios ... Read Answer >>