Shareholders Equity

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Definition of Shareholders Equity

Shareholders equity is the difference between total assets and total liabilities. It is also the Share capital retained in the company in addition to the retained earnings minus the treasury shares. Shareholders equity is the amount that shows how the company has been financed with the help of common shares and preferred shares. Shareholders equity is also called Share Capital, Stockholder’s Equity or Net worth.

There are two important sources from which you can get shareholder’s equity. The first source is the money originally invested in the company and all the other investments that are made in the company after the initial payment and the second source is the earnings that the company has retained over a period of time through its operations.

Formula to calculate Shareholders Equity

The shareholders Equity can be calculated with the help of the following formulas:

Shareholders Equity Formula


Shareholders Equity = Share Capital + Retained Earnings – Treasury Shares

The first formula involving total assets and total liabilities is relatively easy to use, and is considered as a basic accounting equation. The first formula is the difference of the total assets and the total liabilities. To determine total assets you need to add long term assets and current assets. Current assets are the receivables and cash of the company and long term assets is the value of the capital assets and property. All of these should be held by the company for a year at least.

Then you have to compute total liabilities, you need to add current liabilities and long term liabilities. This would provide an instant investment decision you would have to take. It is one of the quickest ways to shareholder equity.

The other formula which makes use of the share capital and retained earnings which are deducted from the treasury shares. This is called the Investor’s equation where you have to compute the share capital of the company and then ascertain the retained earnings of the business.

Verify the retained earnings for the business. Retained earnings are the profits made by the company. Then you need to find out the amount of treasury shares of the company, which are the shares the company sells and the repurchases.

Shareholder’s equity can be calculated by adding share capital to retained earnings and subtracted by treasury shares. Thus shareholder’s equity can be ascertained by a company by two easy methods. 

Negative Shareholders' Equity

A negative shareholders' equity balance means that the liabilities of a company exceed its assets. This can happen when a company has more debt than it has assets or when it has lost money over a period of time. A negative shareholders' equity can be seen as an indicator of financial distress and is a red flag for investors and creditors.

A negative shareholders' equity can be caused by several factors, including:

  • A decline in the value of assets: If the value of the assets of a company decreases, this can lead to a negative shareholders' equity.

  • An increase in liabilities: If a company incurs additional debt or other liabilities, this can lead to a negative shareholders' equity.

  • Losses: If a company has been operating at a loss, this can lead to a negative shareholders' equity.

  • Shareholders withdrawing or selling shares: Shareholders' equity can also be affected by shareholders withdrawing or selling shares, which can lead to a decrease in equity.

It's important to note that just because a company has negative shareholders' equity, it does not mean that the company is necessarily in financial trouble, but it is a sign that the company needs to improve its financials and make sure it has enough assets to pay off its debts. It is important to analyze the company's financial statements, such as income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement to understand the company's financial health and to make an informed decision.

When a company has negative shareholders' equity for two or more years, it can indicate that the company is in financial distress and may be unable to meet its financial obligations. Under U.S. and EU law, there are different legal actions that can be taken in this situation.

In the United States:

  • The company may file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which allows it to reorganize its debts and continue operating under the supervision of a court-appointed trustee.

  • The company may file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which involves liquidation of the company's assets to pay off its creditors.

  • Creditors may file a lawsuit against the company to collect on their debts.

In the European Union:

  • The EU has a directive on preventive restructuring frameworks, which aims to help companies in financial distress to restructure their debts and avoid insolvency.

  • EU member states are also required to have laws in place to allow for the rescue and restructuring of companies in financial difficulty.

  • If a company is unable to pay its debts as they fall due, the company can be declared insolvent and a procedure of liquidation or insolvency proceedings can be initiated by the creditors.

The specific legal actions that can be taken and the processes involved will vary depending on the country and the specific circumstances of the company. 

Quote Guest, 30 July, 2015
How do i calculate share equity and paid up capital.?
Quote Guest, 30 July, 2015
The authorized share capital of the company is 31.5 million  divided into four shares. Equity shares of ………each and the paid up capital of the Company is………….. divided into ………….(no. of shares) equity shares of ……each. Please help me solve this equation.
Quote Guest, 13 September, 2016
How it is possible by only providing Authorosed capital.
Just think before u are asking this type of questions.
Make it sense?
Quote Vit. A., 22 February, 2023

Guest wrote:
How do i calculate share equity and paid up capital.?
To calculate share equity and paid-up capital, you need to understand the concept of share capital and the different types of shares that a company may issue.
Share capital is the amount of money that a company raises by issuing shares to investors. A company's share capital is divided into a fixed number of shares, and each share represents a unit of ownership in the company.

Paid-up capital is the portion of the share capital that has been actually paid by the shareholders. It is the amount of money that the company has received from the sale of shares, minus any amount that is still owed by shareholders.

To calculate share equity, you can use the following formula:

Share Equity = Total Share Capital - Treasury Shares

Where Total Share Capital is the total number of shares issued by the company multiplied by the face value of each share, and Treasury Shares are any shares that the company has repurchased and holds as treasury stock.

To calculate paid-up capital, you can use the following formula:

Paid-up Capital = Total Share Capital - Calls in Arrears - Forfeited Shares - Share Discounts + Share Premium

Where Calls in Arrears are any amounts that are owed by shareholders for their shares, Forfeited Shares are shares that have been forfeited by shareholders due to non-payment, Share Discounts are any discounts given to shareholders when issuing shares, and Share Premium is the amount that shareholders paid for their shares in excess of their face value.
Note that the specific calculation of share equity and paid-up capital may vary depending on the accounting principles and regulations applicable in your country or jurisdiction. It's always best to consult with a qualified accountant or financial professional for specific guidance related to your situation.

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