Gearing

Financial leverage. The New York Times Financial Glossary

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gearing gear‧ing [ˈgɪərɪŋ ǁ ˈgɪr-] also ˌcapital ˈgearing noun [uncountable] FINANCE
the amount of borrowing that a company has in relation to its share capital. If the company makes more profit by investing this borrowed money in its business activities than it pays to lenders in interest, the company's shareholders will obtain higher dividend S (= payments from their shares) than they would without the use of borrowed money. But if the company makes less profit by investing this borrowed money in its business activities than it pays to lenders in interest, dividends will be lower, so high gearing involves a higher degree of risk; = LEVERAGE:

• The company has cut gearing to between 40% and 50% from approximately 80% over the past two years.

• We have a target - to lower our gearing to the 1:1 level.

• With higher levels of capital gearing, debt service payments stood at record levels.

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   1 The ratio of a company's debt to equity. Gearing is an indicator of a company's ability to service its debt. A company with a high proportion of debt to equity (high gearing) is more vulnerable to fluctuations in business activity. It therefore represents higher risk for equity holders and offers greater return. Whether gearing is acceptable or not is often judged by comparisons with companies in similar industries or sectors.
   2 In derivatives markets, gearing is the measure of the amount of cash spent purchasing an option or a futures contract, compared to the actual value of the underlying position. The more highly geared the trading position, the greater the risk that a small change in market prices will completely wipe out the cash investment. That also means that a small change in market prices in the right direction can produce large profits in relation to the size of the cash investment. Gearing is also known as leverage.
   ► See also Derivatives.

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gearing UK US /ˈgɪərɪŋ/ noun [U] (UK FINANCE
the amount of money a company has borrowed compared to its share capital: »

You must look at the company's gearing level and its ability to service its debt.


Financial and business terms. 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gearing — Gear ing, n. 1. Harness. [1913 Webster] 2. (Mach.) The parts by which motion imparted to one portion of an engine or machine is transmitted to another, considered collectively; as, the valve gearing of a locomotive engine; belt gearing; esp., a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • gearing — Also known as the debt/equity ratio or leverage. The ratio of debt (borrowings) to shareholder funds (broadly, share capital and retained profits), often expressed as a percentage or ratio. It is often used as a measure of the risk attached to a… …   Law dictionary

  • gearing — [gir′iŋ] n. 1. the act or manner of fitting a machine with gears 2. a system of gears or other parts for transmitting motion …   English World dictionary

  • gearing — the ratio between the business s debt and equity finance. Glossary of Business Terms financial leverage. Bloomberg Financial Dictionary Also known as leverage. Gearing describes the situation when an asset is controlled for a relatively low… …   Financial and business terms

  • gearing — [1] The combination or system of gears or sprockets designed to transmit power. [2] The ratio between the drive gear and the driven gear. also See alpine gearing crossover gearing double reduction gearing half step gearing wide step gearing wide… …   Dictionary of automotive terms

  • Gearing — Gear Gear (g[=e]r) v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Geared} (g[=e]rd); p. pr. & vb. n. {Gearing}.] 1. To dress; to put gear on; to harness. [1913 Webster] 2. (Mach.) To provide with gearing. [1913 Webster] 3. To adapt toward some specific purpose; as, they… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Gearing — A fundamental analysis ratio of a company s level of long term debt compared to its equity capital. Gearing is expressed in percentage form. Companies with high gearing more long term liabilities than shareholder equity are considered speculative …   Investment dictionary

  • gearing — capital gearing; = equity gearing; = financial gearing; = leverage The relationship between the funds provided to a company by ordinary share holders and the long term funds with a fixed interest charge, such as debentures and preference shares.… …   Accounting dictionary

  • gearing — capital gearing; equity gearing; financial gearing; leverage The relative size of the funds provided to a company by its ordinary shareholders and the long term funds with a fixed interest charge, such as debentures and preference shares A… …   Big dictionary of business and management

  • gearing — / gɪərɪŋ/ noun the act of borrowing money at fixed interest which is then used to produce more money than the interest paid COMMENT: High gearing (when a company is said to be ‘highly geared’) indicates that the level of borrowings is high when… …   Dictionary of banking and finance

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