Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is still the world's largest company by market capitalization even after Google's recent earnings report. Apple has a $521.3 billion market capitalization, as of Feb. 5, 2016. However, it is still worth analyzing the technology giant's debt ratios. Apple expanded its capital return program in 2015 in an attempt to return $200 billion to its investors by March 2017, and has increased its debt offerings to over $55 billion as of September 2015. Some ratios pertinent to analyzing Apple's debt include the debt-to-equity, debt, cash flow-to-debt and capitalization ratios.
Apple's Debt-to-Equity Ratio
The debt-to-equity (D/E) ratio is calculated by dividing a company's total liabilities by its total shareholders' equity. Apple had $165.02 billion in total liabilities and $128.27 billion in total shareholders ' equity for the fiscal period ending on Dec. 26, 2015, which was down from $171.12 billion and up from $119.36 billion for the fiscal period ending on Sept. 26, 2015, respectively. Its D/E ratio was 128.65% for the same period, which was down from 143.36% for the previous quarter. These changes indicate Apple has scaled back on its aggressive debt financing quarter over quarter.
Apple's Debt Ratio
The debt ratio indicates a company's degree of leverage, which is calculated by dividing its total debt by its total assets during an accounting period. Apple had total assets of $293.28 billion and $290.48 billion for the fiscal periods ending on Dec. 26 and Sept. 26, 2015, respectively. Therefore, it had debt ratios of 58.91% and 56.27% for the same fiscal periods. The company's debt ratio indicates it only uses a moderate degree of leverage and only carries a moderate degree of risk.
Apple's Cash Flow-to-Debt Ratio
The cash flow-to-debt ratio determines a company's ability to pay off its financial debt obligations. Generally, the higher the cash flow-to-debt ratio, the greater a company's ability to hold its debt on its balance sheet. The cash flow-to-debt ratio is calculated by dividing a company's total cash flow from operating activities by its total liabilities.
According to Apple's annual cash flow statement, it had $81.27 billion in total cash flow from operating activities for the fiscal period ending on Sept. 26, 2015. This figure is up by 36%, or $59.71 billion, from the previous fiscal year. According to Apple's annual balance sheet, it had $171.12 billion in total liabilities for the same period, which is up from $120.29 billion from the previous fiscal year.
Apple's cash flow-to-debt ratio was 47.49% for the fiscal year ending on Sept. 26, 2015, compared to 49.64% from the previous fiscal year. These ratios indicate Apple is in moderate financial health and has a satisfactory ability to pay off its debt.
Apple's Capitalization Ratio
Finally, the capitalization ratio indicates investment quality by comparing a company's long-term debt to its shareholders' equity. The capitalization ratio is calculated by dividing long-term debt by shareholders' equity and long-term debt. Apple had $53.46 billion in long-term debt for the fiscal year ending on Sept. 26, 2015, which was up nearly 100% from $28.99 billion from the previous year. Additionally, it had $119.36 billion and $111.55 billion in total shareholders' equity for the fiscal years ending in September 2015 and September 2014, respectively.
Apple had a 30.93% capitalization ratio for the fiscal year ending in September 2015, which was up from 20.63% in 2014. Although the company took on more debt between 2014 and 2015, its capitalization indicates it is still in satisfactory financial health.