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Meaning of Leverage Leverage results from the use of fixed-cost assets or funds to magnify returns to the firms owners.

Generally, increases in leverage result in increased return and risk, whereas decreases in leverage result in decreased return and risk. The amount of leverage in t he firms capital structurethe mix of long-term debt and equity maintained by the firmcan significantly affect its value by affecting return and risk. Unlike some causes of risk, management has almost complete control over the risk introduced through the use of leverage. Because of its effect on value, the financial manager must understand how to measure and evaluate leverage, particularly when making capital structure decisions.The term leverage refers to an increased means of accomplishing some purpose. Leverage is used to lifting heavy objects, which may not be otherwise possible. In the financial point of view, leverage refers to furnish the ability to use fixed cost assets or funds to increase the return to its shareholders. In other words, the term leverage means sensitiveness of one financial variable to change in another. The measure of this sensitiveness is expressed as a ratio and is called degree of leverage. Algebraically, the leverage may be defined as, Leverage = %Change in some other variable %Change in one variable Definition of Leverage James Horne has defined leverage as, the employment of an asset or fund for which the firm pays a fixed cost or fixed return EBIT Sales Revenue -Interest -Variable Cost Profit Before Tax Contribution -Tax -Fixed Cost Profit After Tax EBIT or

Types of Leverage Leverage can be classified into three major headings according to the nature of the finance mix of the company.

The company may use finance or leverage or operating leverage, to increase the EBIT and EPS. OPERATING LEVERAGE: The leverage associated with investment activities is called as operating leverage. It is caused due to fixed operating expenses in the company. Operating leverage may be defined as the companys ability to use fixed operating costs to magnify the effects of changes in sales on its earnings before interest and taxes. Operating leverage consists of two important costs viz., fixed cost and variable cost. When the company is said to have a high degree of operating leverage if it employs a great amount of fixed cost and smaller amount of variable cost. Thus, the degree of operating leverage depends upon the amount of various cost structure.

Operating leverage can be calculated with the help of the following formula: OL = C OP Where, OL = Operating Leverage C = Contribution OP = Operating Profits Degree of Operating Leverage The degree of operating leverage may be defined as percentage change in the profits resulting from a percentage change in the sales. It can be calculated with the help of the following formula: DOL =Percentage change in profits Percentage change in sales

Comments Operating leverage for B Company is higher than that of A Company; B Company has a higher degree of operating risk. The tendency of operating profit may vary portionately with sales, is higher for B Company as compared to A Company. Uses of Operating Leverage Operating leverage is one of the techniques to measure the impact of changes in sales which lead for change in the profits of the company. If any change in the sales, it will lead to corresponding changes in profit. Operating leverage helps to identify the position of fixed cost and variable cost of a company during a particular period. Operating leverage helps to understand the level of fixed cost which is invested in the operating expenses of business activities. Operating leverage describes the overall position of the fixed operating cost. FINANCIAL LEVERAGE: Leverage activities with financing activities are called financial leverage. Financial leverage represents the relationship between the companys earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) or operating profit and the earning available to equity shareholders. Financial leverage is defined as the ability of a firm to use fixed financial charges to magnify the effects of changes in EBIT on the earnings per share. It involves the use of funds obtained at a fixed cost in the hope of increasing the return to the shareholders. The use of long-term fixed interest bearing debt and preference share capital along with share capital is called financial leverage or trading on equity. Financial leverage may be favorable or unfavorable depends upon the use of fixed cost funds. Favorable financial leverage occurs when the company earns more on the assets purchased with the funds, then the fixed cost of their use. Hence, it is also called as positive financial leverage. Unfavorable financial leverage occurs when the company does not earn as much as the funds cost. Hence, it is also called as negative financial leverage. Financial leverage can be calculated with the help of the following formula: FL = OP PBT Where, FL = Financial leverage OP = Operating profit (EBIT) PBT = Profit before tax

Degree of Financial Leverage Degree of financial leverage may be defined as the percentage change in taxable profit as a result of percentage change in earning before interest and tax (EBIT). This can be calculated by the following formula DFL= Percentage change in taxable Income Percentage change in EBIT

Uses of Financial Leverage Financial leverage helps to examine the relationship between EBIT and EPS. Financial leverage measures the percentage of change in taxable income to the percentage change in EBIT. Financial leverage locates the correct profitable financial decision regarding capital structure of the company. Financial leverage is one of the important devices which is used to measure the fixed cost proportion with the total capital of the company. If the firm acquires fixed cost funds at a higher cost, then the earnings from those assets, the earning per share and return on equity capital will decrease. The impact of financial leverage can be understood with the help of the following exercise.

COMBINED LEVERAGE: When the company uses both financial and operating leverage to magnification of any change in sales into a larger relative changes in earning per share its called combined leverage. Combined leverage is also called as composite leverage or total leverage. Combined leverage express the relationship between the revenue in the account of sales and the taxable income. Combined leverage can be calculated with the help of the following formulas:

Where, CL = Combined Leverage OL = Operating Leverage FL = Financial Leverage C = Contribution OP = Operating Profit (EBIT) PBT= Profit Before Tax Degree of Combined Leverage The percentage change in a firms earning per share (EPS) results from one percent change in sales. This is also equal to the firms degree of operating leverage (DOL) times its degree of financial leverage (DFL) at a particular level of sales. Degree of contributed coverage =Percentage change in EPS Percentage change in sales

EBIT-EPS Analysis and Indifference Point EBIT-EPS is a technique that is commonly used to analyze the desirability of alternative capital structure. EBIT EPS analysis can be performed graphically or algebraically. In either case the intent is to determine the level of EBIT where EPS would be identical under either debt or equity financing. EBIT EPS analysis can be performed algebraically by use of the relationship
EPS ($)

Advantage to Advantage to Equity Financing Equity Financing Debt Financing Debt Financing

EPS(debt financing) = EPS(equity financing)

Putting two different values of I, D and N in the above equation, we can find two equation representing EPS in terms of EBIT under two proposed mixes. For graphical analysis of EBIT EPS indifference points, we calculate earnings per share at each of two levels of EBIT for each of the financing plans. Drawing straight lines through the pairs of points for each financing plan provides a graphical representation of the effects of the different levels of debt on EPS. The point where lines cross indicates the indifference point.

0 EBIT (in millions of dollars)