Retained Earnings are an internal source that a company can utilize to fulfill its financial requirements or repayment of any financial obligations. As the name suggests, retained earnings include the company’s old earnings or profits that are retained or saved in the form of the company’s earnings to use in the future. In any organization, retained earnings are important to management since they utilize it brings new technology or acquisition of new machinery to enhance the plant’s production capacity and for purchasing the assets of the company. Furthermore, management has utilized this source when the company is facing financial crises, and the company cannot acquire capital from external sources.
Companies retain earnings because they can easily acquire these funds, and they are not required to pay any cost on it. For Instance, Equity Company is required to pay certain underwriters’ costs to issue shares in the stock market. Furthermore, management does not repay the funds, as they are not acquired but obtained from the company’s internal sources. However, management is required to repay an investment they acquired from the market.
In addition, retained earnings are less costly as compared to other financing sources, including debt and equity, in which returns are paid on the investments acquired from the public. As it is acquired from internal sources, the company pays none of the returns. This aspect, and because of a decreased level of payments for interest expense and dividend payments, can increase the company’s capacity to generate more returns and profit on the investment.
However, an increase in the company’s retained earnings will affect shareholder satisfaction as they are not paid with dividends from the profits, but the company, to fulfill the future financing needs, retains these profits. Because investors want to gain returns on their investment in terms of dividend payout, non-payment will negatively affect their satisfaction.
Retained Earnings play a pivotal role in lowering down the gearing or financial leverage of the company. It becomes an integral part of the equity or, in other words, part of the organization’s capital. A certain portion or a percentage can be transferred to the paid-up capital to show commitment to existing shareholders. In doing so, there can be no withdrawals from the paid-up capital, and simultaneously the transition is communicated to the regulated stock exchange or registrar of companies. If the paid-up capital is equal to the authorized capital, the organization must request the stock exchange commission to increase the authorized capital. When the authorized capital is increased, a cushion is created in the paid-up capital where retained earnings can be transferred.
It is a sign of how deeply the company is committed to continuing the operations and provides a sign of risk-free investment for shareholders considering the increase in paid-up capital. Although retained earnings do have a significant impact on the Return on Equity (ROE), when it comes to domiciling the equity into three different tiers, this move is considered positive. To calculate ROE or any other leverage ratios, the investors rely more on the tier one part of the equity or capital. Tier one capital includes the paid-up capital and subordinated earnings. In tier two and tier three, the capital includes retained earnings, reserves, deferred payments, the surplus on revaluation of fixed assets, and quasi-equity financing.
If you want to gauge the importance of retained earnings and drawings by directors, it will reflect the company’s non-financial performance. It could help determine the contribution and commitment of the directors and shareholders. Moreover, it can help predict the organic growth of the organization and the expansion of the distribution footprint.
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