Operating Leverage: What It Is, How It Works, How to Calculate

A low DOL typically indicates a company with a higher variable cost ratio, also known as a variable expense ratio. When businesses with a low DOL sell more product, they’ll have higher variable costs, so operating income won’t rise as dramatically as it would for a company with a high DOL and fewer variable costs. https://www.bookkeeping-reviews.com/ (DOL) is a leverage ratio used in operating analysis that gives insight into how a change in sales will affect profitability. It sounds complex, but it’s easy to figure out if you have your company’s financial statements from the past few years on hand and you’re comfortable doing some simple math. As a result, operating risk increases as fixed to variable costs increase. Intuitively, the degree of operating leverage (DOL) represents the risk faced by a company as a result of its percentage split between fixed and variable costs.

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Formula for Degree of Operating Leverage

  1. The shared characteristic of low DOL industries is that spending is tied to demand, and there are more potential cost-cutting opportunities.
  2. Since financial and operating leverages are crucial for controlling a company’s capacity to control fixed expenses, adding them together results in the organization’s total Leverage.
  3. If a firm generates a high gross margin, it also generates a high DOL ratio and can make more money from incremental revenues.
  4. A business with low operating Leverage incurs a high percentage of variable costs, which results in a lower profit margin on each sale but less need for sales growth to offset its lower fixed costs.
  5. If operating income is sensitive to changes in the pricing structure and sales, the firm is expected to generate a high DOL and vice versa.

Formula and Calculation of Degree of Operating Leverage