leverage meaning of leverage in Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English


If all goes well, the final return could be much greater than your initial cash stake. Investors can also apply this investment strategy by using different tools, such as options, futuresand margin accounts.

Fitch Rates Vulcan’s Sr. Unsecured Notes Offering ‘BBB’ – Fitch Ratings

Fitch Rates Vulcan’s Sr. Unsecured Notes Offering ‘BBB’.

Posted: Mon, 27 Feb 2023 14:56:00 GMT [source]

Investors can calculate operational leverage by dividing the company’s change in earnings per share by its percentage change in its earnings prior to interest and taxes. A higher degree of operating leverage demonstrates a higher level of volatility within the company. There is an implicit assumption in that account, however, which is that the underlying leveraged asset is the same as the unleveraged one. Or if both long and short positions are held by a pairs-trading stock strategy the matching and off-setting economic leverage may lower overall risk levels. There is a suite of financial ratios referred to as leverage ratios that analyze the level of indebtedness a company experiences against various assets. The two most common financial leverage ratios are debt-to-equity (total debt/total equity) and debt-to-assets (total debt/total assets).

British Dictionary definitions for leverage

Though companies can also use equity to build assets, they prefer taking debts as the cost of borrowing is less than the cost of equity. However, while debt gives a huge relief to businesses for a time being, it is quite risky. Leverage is the use of debt to finance an organization’s activities and asset purchases. When debt is the primary form of financing, a business is considered to be highly leveraged. For example, if investors buy $1 million of stock and the business then earns $100,000 of profits, their return on investment will be 10%. Additionally, many investors evaluate the degree of operating leverage and financial leverage as a fundamental analysis.


The size of this small cash stake, known as a margin payment, varies with the types of assets and markets in which you want to trade. Margin rates can also vary according to the regulatory rules in the country in which your account is based. It is, undoubtedly, a powerful tool to enhance capital, but it does not necessarily turn out to be good. It paves the way for companies to have funds to build capital and expand their business, but it might be adverse if they cannot repay the borrowed amount. Information provided on Forbes Advisor is for educational purposes only.

How Does Financial Leverage Work?

His position affords him the leverage to get things done through committees. The use of a small initial investment to gain a relatively high return. Definition and synonyms of leverage from the online English dictionary from Macmillan Education. But leverage is not a great way for an unsuccessful company to rescue itself from drowning. This system will help you to leverage your time so that you get more done. Retailers can exert leverage over producers by threatening to take their business elsewhere.

Usually, the ratio exceeds the US average debt to equity ratio of 54.62%. In this scenario, the buyer’s potential loss of £400,000 would be 2,000% of the original investment sum. The buyer would also have to keep making mortgage and insurance payments – which could see the losses spiralling quickly. Using leverage responsibly has the potential to increase your profits. If you want more guidance when it comes to investing or other areas surrounding your financial health, you may want to consider joining forces with a financial advisor.

Leverage Definition in Business

Financial leverage involves using the borrowed money to build capital, expecting the income to be more than the debt. Know how much leverage you are working with when assessing business information. A high amount of leverage can be risky, although it can also be leveraged in a company’s favor — in the acquisition of assets, for instance, or to initiate large-scale company changes.

  • However, this doesn’t necessarily mean a company is highly levered.
  • Securities like options and futures are effectively bets between parties where the principal is implicitly borrowed/lent at interest rates of very short treasury bills.
  • It defines the process in which a company uses debt for capital building.
  • Increased stock prices will mean that the company will pay higher interest to the shareholders.
  • Once figured, one multiplies the financial leverage with the total asset turnover and the profit margin to produce the return on equity.

This may require financial leverage attention to one’s portfolio and contribution of additional capital should their trading account not have a sufficient amount of equity per their broker’s requirement. Leverage can be used in short-term, low risk situations where high degrees of capital are needed. For example, during acquisitions or buyouts, a growth company may have a short-term need for capital that will result in a strong mid-to-long-term growth opportunity. In accounting and finance, leverage is the use of a significant amount of debt to purchase an asset, operate a company, acquire another company, etc. While the Debt to Equity Ratio is the most commonly used leverage ratio, the above three ratios are also used frequently in corporate finance to measure a company’s leverage. Imagine you want to buy 1,000 Omnicorp shares that are currently trading at £1 each. If the shares then go up by 20p a share, you could sell out of your position at £1,200 and make a profit of £200 or 20%.

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