Valuing and understanding the risks involved with a business or security requires the ability to benchmark individual data points against a universe.

That’s why business managers, investors, and accountants alike use ratio analysis to guide their decisions. Ratio analysis provides a consistent framework for benchmarking data points from the financial statements. We can spot relationships and trends more easily by converting the raw financials into ratios.

In this post, I discuss the 15 income statement focused profit and return ratios that enable investors to accurately determine a business’s profitability, competitive strength, and earnings potential. For each financial ratio discussed, I also provide a table listing the median ratio of firms in the finbox.io database by Sector. The sector medians are as of November 8th, 2017. I’ve also written about Credit RatiosValuation Ratios, and Cash Flow Ratios in past posts.

Interested in calculating the ratios I discuss? I’ve created a spreadsheet template you can use to calculate these 15 income statement ratios yourself. The spreadsheet contains three tabs:

• Cheat Sheet: This tab lists the Profit & Return financial ratios and formulas used to calculate each ratio.
• [Example] Calculator: You can use this tab calculate all the ratios discussed for any business by manually entering the financials required in designated cells colored in yellow under the “Required Data” section.
• [Linked] Calculator: This tab has formulas that are powered by finbox.io’s Spreadsheet add-on so you can use it to automatically fetch data for supported public companies by simply changing the ticker symbol in the designated cell.

You can make a copy of the Google Spreadsheet by clicking File > Make a copy from the menu or using the link below:

## 1. Gross Margin

Gross Margin measures the amount of gross profit a company earns on each dollar of revenue. Businesses that operate at high gross margins typically have higher pricing power over their customers and suppliers.

Formula

Gross Margin = (Revenue – Cost of Goods Sold) ÷ Revenue
Median by Sector
SectorGross Margin
Consumer Discretionary37.5%
Consumer Staples33.5%
Energy50.7%
Financials89.7%
Healthcare67.4%
Industrials29.5%
Information Technology48.4%
Materials26.9%
Telecom57.4%
Utilities60.6%

## 2. EBITDA Margin

EBITDA Margin represents the portion of revenue a business is able to convert into earnings before accounting for interest expense, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA). EBITDA is often used as a proxy for cash flow since it excludes the non-cash depreciation and amortization expenses.

Formula

EBITDA Margin = EBITDA ÷ Revenue
Median by Sector
SectorLTM EBITDA MarginProj EBITDA Margin
Consumer Discretionary11.1%12.4%
Consumer Staples12.2%13.2%
Energy25.4%33.4%
Financials7.8%10.4%
Healthcare-25.7%-13.4%
Industrials11.4%13.0%
Information Technology8.6%12.3%
Materials15.5%18.8%
Telecom28.5%31.8%
Utilities30.2%32.6%

## 3. EBIT Margin

EBIT Margin is similar to EBITDA margin. Instead of using EBITDA as the numerator, EBIT margin expenses depreciation and amortization (D&A) to measure the portion of revenue a business is able to convert into earnings before interest expenses and taxes. Even though D&A expenses aren’t cash expenses, they do serve as a fair proxy for cash outlays such as capital expenditures and software development. When these are the material expenses for a business (usually a capital-intensive business), the EBIT margin can serve as a more appropriate measure of profitability.

Formula

EBIT Margin = EBIT ÷ Revenue
Median by Sector
SectorLTM EBIT MarginProj EBIT Margin
Consumer Discretionary7.4%8.1%
Consumer Staples9.3%9.4%
Energy5.0%5.8%
Financials0.3%5.0%
Healthcare-33.5%-20.0%
Industrials6.9%8.1%
Information Technology2.8%6.0%
Materials9.3%11.0%
Telecom10.7%14.6%
Utilities17.7%20.3%

## 4. Net Profit Margin

Net Profit Margin measures the amount of profit that common shareholders earn on each dollar of revenue earned by the firm. Businesses that operate at high net profit margins typically have more cash to invest in growth and subsequently pay dividends to investors.

Formula

Net Profit Margin = Net Profit to Common ÷ Revenue
Median by Sector
SectorLTM Profit MarginProj Profit Margin
Consumer Discretionary4.1%5.9%
Consumer Staples4.8%7.4%
Energy0.3%4.6%
Financials17.8%19.9%
Healthcare-35.8%2.0%
Industrials3.9%5.9%
Information Technology1.6%8.9%
Materials4.5%7.0%
Telecom3.9%6.3%
Utilities7.7%10.0%

## 5. Effective Interest Rate

Effective Interest Rate in the context of a firm’s debts is calculated as follows:

Formula

Effective Interest Rate = Interest Expense ÷ Total Debt

The effective interest rate measures the average interest rate a company pays on its debts. The effective interest rate is not the cash interest rate because its interest expense includes the non-cash amortization of discounts and premiums from the time the debt was issued.

Median by Sector
SectorEffective Interest Rate
Consumer Discretionary4.5%
Consumer Staples4.4%
Energy5.2%
FinancialsNM
Healthcare5.5%
Industrials4.2%
Information Technology4.0%
Materials5.1%
Telecom5.4%
Utilities4.7%

## 6. Effective Tax Rate

Effective Tax Rate measures the GAAP tax rate applicable to the earnings after all expenses have been deducted by the business. Note that this is the tax rate based on GAAP earnings; the cash tax rate is usually lower because firms can depreciate assets faster for tax purposes. Nevertheless, the effective tax rate serves as a good approximation of the current marginal tax rate applicable to the company.

Formula

Effective Tax Rate = Provision for Taxes ÷ Earnings before Taxes
Median by Sector
SectorEffective Tax Rate
Consumer Discretionary29.3%
Consumer Staples30.1%
Energy0.4%
Financials27.8%
Healthcare0.0%
Industrials27.6%
Information Technology8.8%
Materials22.9%
Telecom24.8%
Utilities27.5%

## 7. EBITDA – CAPEX Margin

EBITDA – CAPEX Margin is similar to EBIT margin but accounts for capital costs explicitly by deducting capital expenditures. EBITDA less CapEx is often used by analysts as a proxy for unlevered cash flow.

Formula

EBITDA – CAPEX Margin = (EBITDA – CAPEX) ÷ Revenue
Median by Sector
SectorEBITDA minus CAPEX Margin
Consumer Discretionary7.8%
Consumer Staples7.5%
Energy7.8%
Financials5.8%
Healthcare-26.4%
Industrials7.6%
Information Technology4.6%
Materials9.6%
Telecom11.3%
Utilities5.9%

## 8. Return on Equity

Return on Equity (ROE) is an important ratio for common shareholders. It represents the return that a firm generates on the book value of common equity. Firms with high returns on equity can finance future growth by reinvesting their earnings.

Formula

Return on Equity = Net Profit to Common ÷ Average Common Equity
Median by Sector
SectorReturn on Equity
Consumer Discretionary8.3%
Consumer Staples10.2%
Energy0.2%
Financials8.7%
Healthcare-35.2%
Industrials9.0%
Information Technology3.6%
Materials5.1%
Telecom5.3%
Utilities7.9%

## 9. Return on Invested Capital

Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) is used to measure a firm’s ability to create value for all its stakeholders, debt, and equity. ROIC can be used to benchmark capital efficiency of firms within an industry.

Formula

NOPAT = EBIT * (1 – 39%)

Invested Capital = Total Debt + Total Equity

Return on Invested Capital = NOPAT ÷ (Average Invested Capital)

ROIC is also useful to when compared to the Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC). Since ROIC measures the company’s ability to generate a return on invested capital, and the WACC measures the minimum return required by the company’s capital providers (equity and debt), the difference between ROIC and WACC is referred to as Economic Profit or Excess Return.

Formula

Excess Return = ROIC – WACC
Median by Sector
SectorReturn on Invested Capital
Consumer Discretionary5.8%
Consumer Staples6.9%
Energy1.8%
FinancialsNM
Healthcare-21.6%
Industrials5.8%
Information Technology2.6%
Materials4.6%
Telecom3.8%
Utilities4.3%

## 10. Return on Assets

Return on Assets (ROA) measures the dollars that the net profit a business generates per dollar of assets it owns. ROA is typically used to gauge the efficiency of management at purchasing assets that generate earnings for their shareholders.

Formula

Return on Assets = Net Profit ÷ Average Total Assets
Median by Sector
SectorReturn on Assets
Consumer Discretionary3.7%
Consumer Staples4.5%
Energy0.0%
Financials1.0%
Healthcare-31.5%
Industrials3.7%
Information Technology1.3%
Materials2.8%
Telecom2.2%
Utilities2.4%

## 11. Unlevered Return on Assets

Unlevered Return on Assets (UROA) is similar to Return on Assets but can be a more useful measure for benchmarking since it normalizes earnings for capital structure differences. Instead of using net profit in the numerator; the Unlevered Return on Assets ratio uses EBIT. Using earnings before interest expenses ensures that earnings (and thus returns) are not lower just because the firm utilizes debt in its capital structure.

Formula

EBIT = Earnings before Interest & Taxes

Unlevered Return on Assets = EBIT ÷ Average Total Assets

Median by Sector
SectorUnlevered ROA
Consumer Discretionary6.9%
Consumer Staples8.3%
Energy2.4%
Financials0.0%
Healthcare-29.9%
Industrials6.6%
Information Technology2.5%
Materials6.0%
Telecom4.5%
Utilities4.8%

## 12. Dividend Yield

Dividend Yield measures the cash returned to shareholders by a firm as a percentage of the price they pay for each share of stock.

Formula

Dividend Yield = Dividend per Share ÷ Stock Price

Note: For quarterly dividends, it’s common practice to multiply the most recent dividend by 4 to calculate Dividend per Share.

Median by Sector
SectorDividend Yield
Consumer Discretionary1.4%
Consumer Staples2.0%
Energy3.4%
Financials2.0%
Healthcare0.6%
Industrials1.1%
Information Technology1.0%
Materials1.5%
Telecom2.9%
Utilities2.9%

## 13. FCF Yield

FCF Yield measures the amount of free cash flow a firm generates when compared to the market value of equity (Market Cap).

Formula

FCF Yield = FCF ÷ Enterprise Value
Median by Sector
SectorFree Cash Flow Yield
Consumer Discretionary3.9%
Consumer Staples2.6%
Energy0.1%
Financials-5.4%
Healthcare-4.4%
Industrials2.5%
Information Technology0.8%
Materials2.0%
Telecom2.2%
Utilities-0.8%

## 14. Earnings Yield

Earnings Yield is the inverse of the P/E ratio and measures the return on investment in the form of net profit:

Formula

Earnings Yield = Earnings Per Share ÷ Stock Price or

Earnings Yield = Net Profit ÷ Market Cap or

Earnings Yield = 1 ÷ P/E Ratio

Median by Sector
SectorEarnings Yield
Consumer Discretionary5.0%
Consumer Staples4.0%
Energy5.1%
Financials5.4%
Healthcare2.9%
Industrials4.0%
Information Technology3.3%
Materials4.1%
Telecom5.4%
Utilities4.1%

## 15. EBIT Yield

EBIT Yield compares the earnings before interest and taxes to the market’s valuation of the entire business, including debt and equity.

The EBIT Yield was popularized by Joel Greenblatt in his book the Little Book That Beats The Market. The EBIT Yield has continued to perform well as a leading indicator as shown in recent backtests conducted by the Quantopian community.

Formula

EBIT Yield = EBIT ÷ Enterprise Value
Median by Sector
SectorLTM EBIT YieldFwd EBIT Yield
Consumer Discretionary7.1%8.0%
Consumer Staples5.7%6.7%
Energy5.3%6.1%
Financials4.0%3.1%
Healthcare4.1%5.1%
Industrials5.7%6.4%
Information Technology4.5%5.3%
Materials5.9%6.9%
Telecom6.3%8.2%
Utilities5.3%5.9%