Also described earlier, the debt to worth ratio represents capital contributed by creditors against capital contributed by owners. If you examine the Smith Heating and Cooling, Inc. balance sheet, you will see that some of the company’s debt is actually due to a company owner. An analyst might consider this to be a form of owner’s equity and alter the ratio accordingly to take a truer picture of leverage.
To do this, you would subtract loans from owners from total liabilities in the numerator and add the same amount to equity in the denominator. Only “senior debt” or the bank debt in the first position in the event of liquidation is actually included as liabilities in this case.
Making these adjustments results in a “senior debt to tangible net worth plus subordinated debt” ratio. For Smith Heating and Cooling, Inc., this ratio is $9.44 to 1, which is still pretty high. The company is, indeed, highly leveraged. But, the ratio is more meaningful in this case, and this number can be compared to an industry average to see how it measures up.