How to calculate common equity?

How to calculate common equity?

How to calculate common equity?



Calculating common equity is an essential task for investors, analysts, and financial professionals. Common equity represents the portion of a company’s total equity that is available to common shareholders. It is crucial to understand how to calculate common equity accurately to assess a company’s financial health and make informed investment decisions. This article will provide a step-by-step guide on how to calculate common equity.

Understanding Common Equity

Before delving into the calculation process, it is important to grasp the concept of common equity. Common equity refers to the residual interest in the assets of a company after deducting liabilities. It represents the ownership interest of common shareholders and reflects the company’s net worth.

Common equity includes various components, such as contributed capital, retained earnings, and accumulated other comprehensive income. Contributed capital comprises the par value of common stock and any additional paid-in capital. Retained earnings represent the accumulated profits or losses that have not been distributed to shareholders. Accumulated other comprehensive income includes unrealized gains or losses from investments and foreign currency translation adjustments.

Calculating Common Equity

To calculate common equity, you need to gather the necessary information from a company’s financial statements, particularly the balance sheet. The balance sheet provides a snapshot of a company’s financial position at a specific point in time.

Step 1: Obtain the balance sheet: Start by obtaining the most recent balance sheet of the company you are analyzing. The balance sheet typically includes assets, liabilities, and shareholders’ equity.

Step 2: Identify total shareholders’ equity: Locate the total shareholders’ equity section on the balance sheet. It is usually listed towards the bottom of the balance sheet.

Step 3: Deduct preferred equity: If the company has preferred equity, subtract the value of preferred equity from the total shareholders’ equity. Preferred equity represents a separate class of shares with preferential rights over common shares.

Step 4: Calculate common equity: After deducting preferred equity, you are left with the common equity. This represents the portion of equity available to common shareholders.

Example Calculation

Let’s consider a hypothetical company, ABC Corporation, and its balance sheet:

Total Shareholders’ Equity: $1,500,000
Preferred Equity: $200,000

To calculate the common equity of ABC Corporation, we subtract the preferred equity from the total shareholders’ equity:

Common Equity = Total Shareholders’ Equity – Preferred Equity
Common Equity = $1,500,000 – $200,000
Common Equity = $1,300,000

Therefore, the common equity of ABC Corporation is $1,300,000.


Calculating common equity is a fundamental step in assessing a company’s financial position. By understanding how to calculate common equity, investors and analysts can gain insights into a company’s net worth and the portion of equity available to common shareholders. This knowledge is crucial for making informed investment decisions and evaluating a company’s financial health.


– Investopedia:
– Corporate Finance Institute:
– Accounting Tools: