SHAREHOLDER EQUITY: What It Is, Examples and How to Calculate It

shareholder equity
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There is more to investing in a company, and if you don’t have the necessary information pertaining to shareholder equity, then you are taking a big risk. Shareholder equity can reveal a lot about a company’s financial stability and the owners’ perspectives on their company. A shareholder can record a statement about equity on the balance sheet to be able to calculate how investing in a business will benefit them. We’ll see an example of shareholder equity in this article.

What Is Shareholder Equity?

Shareholder equity (SE) refers to a corporation’s net worth or the total sum that would be returned to its shareholders if the firm were liquidated after all obligations were paid. The owners’ unfulfilled claim on the assets is therefore represented by SE.

Equity owned by shareholders is equal to a company’s total assets less its entire liabilities. Retained earnings are considered to be part of the shareholders’ equity in addition to any capital contributed to the business. This statistic allows analysts and investors to evaluate the value of financial factors that are important to the business, providing them with the information and tools they need to make more informed investment decisions.

Shareholder equity is also the representation of the debt the company owns to its shareholders. It is visible on a company’s balance sheet, alongside assets and liabilities.

Understanding Shareholder Equity

An investor’s equity position could be either good or negative. If there is negative shareholder equity, all assets will be liquidated and utilized to pay off all debts, leaving shareholders with nothing.

On the other hand, a positive shareholder equity statement shows that the company’s assets have grown to exceed its obligations, proving that it has enough assets to pay for any possible liabilities.

Investors steer clear of companies with negative shareholder equity because they are risky and, if the situation continues, shareholders might not get their money back. For example, if a business has negative shareholder equity and liquidates its assets, the proceeds won’t be sufficient to pay off the debt in full, and the shareholders will leave.

However, they would have to go away without anything. A shareholder equity balance sheet can be used to compare the entire investment made in the company with the profits it generated over a specific time period.

Is Shareholder’s Equity the Same as Equity?

Equity is distinct from shareholders’ equity. While the term “equity” usually refers to a public company’s ownership, “shareholders’ equity” refers to the difference between a company’s total assets and total liabilities as shown on its balance sheet.

What Is Good Shareholder Equity?

If the shareholder equity is positive, the firm’s assets surpass its liabilities; if it is negative, the liabilities of the company outweigh its assets.

Categories of Shareholder Equity

There are different categories of shareholder equity. An example of shareholder equity includes common stock, additional paid-in capital, preferred stock, retained earnings, and accumulated other comprehensive income.

#1. Common Shares

Common stock is a type of security that denotes ownership in a company. Stockholders select the board of directors and corporate policies. In the long term, this type of stock ownership often produces higher rates of return.

But in the event of liquidation, common shareholders only have entitlement to the assets of the company once bondholders, preferred shareholders, and other debt holders have been fully compensated.

The shareholder equity portion of a company’s balance sheet includes information about common stock.

#2. Preferred shares

The term “preference shares” refers to shares of a company’s stock that have dividends that are paid to shareholders ahead of payments on the regular stock.

Preferred investors have the entitlement to receive payment from corporate assets before common shareholders in the event that the company declares bankruptcy.

While common stocks typically do not, the majority of preference shares carry a fixed dividend. In contrast to common stockholders, preferred stockholders normally do not have voting rights.

#3. Paid-in capital

The capital “paid in” by investors during the issuing of common or preferred stock includes the par value of the shares as well as any sums in excess of par value. Paid-in capital is the term that describes the money that a company has to raise by selling equity rather than through continuous activities.

Along with the line item for additional paid-in capital, paid-in capital also refers to a line item under shareholder equity (also known as stockholders’ equity) on the company’s balance sheet.

#4. Retained Earnings

Retained earnings are the remaining earnings a business has after paying all of its direct and indirect expenses, income taxes, and dividends to shareholders. This is the equity stake that the company uses, for instance, to fund marketing, R&D, and new machinery purchases.

How to Calculate Shareholder Equity

Shareholder equity is the owner’s claim following the liquidation of assets and settlement of debts. There are two formulas that you can use to calculate shareholder equity.:

You can calculate shareholder equity by subtracting total assets from total liabilities.

Total assets – total liabilities
It is fairly simple to use the formula above, which is also as the fundamental accounting equation.

Add the value of all liabilities to the total of the balance sheet’s assets. Total assets are the sum of both current and long-term assets, including equipment and fixtures, marketable securities, and prepayments.

In order to calculate total liabilities, you should sum up current and long-term liabilities together.

A company’s balance sheet lists all of the shareholder equity value. This is the amount that shareholders would receive as the value after deducting all liabilities from all assets if you sell the asset and settles the debts.

Shareholder Equity Formula

You can also calculate shareholder equity by subtracting the shares of capital from Retained Earnings from Treasury Stock.

The investor’s equation is a different name for the share capital approach. Retained earnings, which are listed in the shareholder equity portion of the balance sheet, represent the total cumulative earnings of the company after dividend payments.

“Treasury stocks, are stocks in store for prospective resale to investors. In this situation the corporation buys it again. It is the distinction between subscription-offered shares and currently-traded shares of a firm.

Example on How To Calculate Shareholder Equity

A manufacturing company named M Ltd. engage in the production of cars, and recently had their annual report for the year ending December 31, 2022. Based on the financial information on the balance sheet, you can deduct the shareholder equity. The details provided is as follows:

  • Amount in cash= 20,000,000
  • Account receiables = $30,000,000
  • Net property= 45,000,000
  • Inventory = $10,000,000

You can calculate the total asset by summing all of it.

$20,000,000 + $30,000,000 + $45,000,000 + $10,000,000

Total Assets = $105,000,000

  • Total long term debt = 7,000,000
  • Total short term debt = $5,000,000
  • Accounts payable = 12,000,000
  • Other current liabilities = 8,000,000

Thus, calculating total liabilities

7000,000 + $5,000,000 +12,000,000 +8,000,000

Total liabilities = $32,000,000

Therefore, you can calculate the shareholder equity of M Ltd using the below formula as,

= $105,000,000 – $32,000,000

Shareholder’s Equity of M Ltd = $73,000,000

Therefore, this shows the shareholder equity of M Ltd by the end of the year is $73,000,000. A healthy positive equity value indicates a strong financial position of the company that confirms its going concern.

Shareholder Equity on Balance Sheet

A balance sheet, also referred to as a statement of financial position or a statement of financial condition in financial accounting. It is an overview of the financial standing of an individual or organization, whether they are sole proprietorships, business partnerships, corporations, private limited companies, or other entities like governments or not-for-profit organizations.

It includes the particular date, such the conclusion of its financial year, ownership equity, liabilities, and assets. “snapshot of a company’s financial state” is how a balance sheet is frequently referred to.

The balance sheet is the only one of the four fundamental financial statements that only pertains to one point in time during the fiscal year of a company.

Assets are on the left side of a typical corporate balance sheet, and liabilities are financing, which consists of two components—liabilities and ownership equity—on the right. Assets are typically in a list in order of liquidity, starting with the major categories. Liabilities come after the assets.

According to the accounting equation, net worth must be equal to the sum of the assets minus the liabilities. This difference is called equity, net assets, net worth, or capital of the company. It appears on a company’s balance sheet, along with assets and liabilities.

Benefit of Using Balance Sheet for Shareholder Equity

It is clear that balance sheets are critical documents because they keep business owners like you informed about your company’s financial standing.

Many business owners fail to recognize their companies are in trouble until it’s too late. This is because some business owners aren’t examining their balance sheets. Typically, if the ratio of your business’s assets to liabilities is less than 1 to 1, your company is in danger of going bankrupt, and you’ll have to make some strategic moves to improve its financial health.

Balance sheets are also important because these documents let banks know if your business qualifies for additional loans or credit. Balance sheets help current and potential investors better understand where their funding will go and what they can expect to receive in the future.

Investors appreciate businesses with high cash assets, as this insinuates a company will grow and prosper. It also lists the shareholder equity to inform investors of the financial statement of your company.

The balance sheet is also a snapshot of a business’s financial records at a given date. The total of the owner’s equity is the book value of your business.

Shareholder Equity Statement

A shareholder equity statement is a financial document that illustrates the value of a firm after it have settles then liabilities and debtss. Since shareholders also benefit from a company’s success, it signifies both business and personal prosperity. It refers to the stockholders’ return on investment compared to their initial investment.

Additionally, it provides customers with a visual depiction of how the business is doing, changes that have occurred during an accounting period, and the information it contains in a particular area of the balance sheet. Of course, one must remember that if any changes occur in other stock accounts, it is imperative to offer further details.

Importance of Shareholder Equity Statement

It enables business owners to make informed financial decisions, such as borrowing more money to expand their firm or cut costs. It results in investors becoming interested in your business.

Shareholders can check to determine if the owner is managing their company effectively. If they notice that equity has decreased, it is evidence that something is not right.

You can use it to determine whether you are in a position to make any decisions at all financially. Knowing if you require a bank loan, whether you must sell your business, or whether investors should proceed with their arrangement with you is quite important.

What a Shareholder equity Statement Contains

Four sections that provide an overview of the business’s performance typically make up the statement of shareholder equity.

Equity in Section One. It displays the equity of the company in the first part at the start of the accounting period.
Section 2: This section lists all the fresh investments that owners or shareholders made to the company during the year. This formula also takes net income into account.
Third Section: All dividends given to investors are deducted here, along with any net losses.
Equity balance in Section 4. For the time period you are tracking, It displays your ending equity balance in the last column.
An example of what the headline of the shareholder equity statement is the company name, statement title, and accounting period.

Using Excel, a template, or accounting software that automates much of the process, business owners can prepare a tangible shareholder statement of equity that will appear on the balance sheet. Therefore, you must avoid any misunderstanding while looking for these financial statements afterwards.

How Do You Calculate Shareholder Equity?

When a company’s assets and liabilities are categorized on its balance sheet, you can calculate its shareholder equity by deducting the sum of the two. Both current and non-current assets might be included in a total asset category.

What Are the 3 Forms of Equity?

  • Warrants
  • Preferred Shares
  • Common Stock

What Are 2 Examples of Equity?

  • Preferred stock
  • Share capital
  • Capital surplus
  • Retained earnings
  • Treasury stock
  • Stock options
  • Reserves


When assessing the health of a corporation or organization as of any given reporting date, equity value is an essential indicator of health. Any company’s equity should be growing.

A falling equity value, on the other hand, is an indication of poor management and could indicate that the company is about to collapse. Equity held by shareholders is the initial capital invested by the business’s creators. This includes both initial capital and all of the money made and put back into the company since its inception.

If the owners are continuing to put money into the business, this may be an indication of how much they care about the company.


Why do companies issue preferred stock?

Companies offer preferred stock as a means of obtaining equity funding without compromising voting rights. This may also be a means of preventing a hostile takeover. A preference share is a hybrid of bonds and common shares.

Is shareholders equity the same as dividends?

 Although dividends are not a part of stockholder equity in and of itself, the payment of cash dividends has the effect of lowering stockholder equity on a company’s balance sheet. This is the due to the fact that cash dividends are paid from retained earnings, which subsequently lowers stockholder equity.

Is shareholder equity taxable?

Regardless of whether they got any cash from the company, shareholders must pay taxes on their portion of the profit. Let’s say that a firm reports a $20,000 profit and has 10 equal owners. Each shareholder must report and pay $2000 in income tax.

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