
Liquidity Measurement Ratios: Cash Ratio
By Richard Loth (Contact  Biography)
The cash ratio is an indicator of a company's liquidity that further refines both the current ratio and the quick ratio by measuring the amount of cash, cash equivalents or invested funds there are in current assets to cover current liabilities.
Formula:
Components:
As of December 31, 2005, with amounts expressed in millions, Zimmer Holdings' cash assets amounted to $233.20 (balance sheet); while current liabilities amounted to $606.90 (balance sheet). By dividing, the equation gives us a cash ratio of 0.4
Variations:
None
Commentary:
The cash ratio is the most stringent and conservative of the three shortterm liquidity ratios (current, quick and cash). It only looks at the most liquid shortterm assets of the company, which are those that can be most easily used to pay off current obligations. It also ignores inventory and receivables, as there are no assurances that these two accounts can be converted to cash in a timely matter to meet current liabilities.
Very few companies will have enough cash and cash equivalents to fully cover current liabilities, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, so don't focus on this ratio being above 1:1.
The cash ratio is seldom used in financial reporting or by analysts in the fundamental analysis of a company. It is not realistic for a company to purposefully maintain high levels of cash assets to cover current liabilities. The reason being that it's often seen as poor asset utilization for a company to hold large amounts of cash on its balance sheet, as this money could be returned to shareholders or used elsewhere to generate higher returns. While providing an interesting liquidity perspective, the usefulness of this ratio is limited.


Earnings Per Share  EPS
The portion of a company's profit allocated to each outstanding ... 
Return On Investment  ROI
A performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment ... 
Bid Wanted
An announcement by an investor who holds a security that he or ... 
Net Present Value  NPV
The difference between the present value of cash inflows and ... 
Total DebttoCapitalization Ratio
An indicator that measures the total amount of debt in a company’s ... 
PriceToCashFlow Ratio
The ratio of a stock’s price to its cash flow per share. The ...

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. 
Why do share prices fall after a company has a secondary offering?
The best way to answer this question is to provide a simple illustration of what happens when a company increases the number ... 
How do I take qualitative factors into consideration when using fundamental analysis?
Fundamental analysis is the method of analyzing companies based on factors that affect their intrinsic value. There are two ... 
Why is the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) misleading when assessing longterm ...
The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) measures the return on an investment over a certain period of time. Below is an overview ...