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# Asset Turnover Ratio Formula, Analysis & Example

August 21, 2024
Bill Kimball

One critical consideration when evaluating the ratio is how capital-intensive the industry that the company operates in is (i.e., asset-heavy or asset-lite). All of these categories should be closely managed to improve the asset turnover ratio. Ratio comparisons across markedly different industries do not provide a good insight into how well a company is doing. For example, it would be incorrect to compare the ratios of Company A to that of Company C, as they operate in different industries. For the final step in listing out our assumptions, the company has a PP&E balance of \$85m in Year 0, which is expected to increase by \$5m each period and reach \$110m by the end of the forecast period.

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Just-in-time (JIT) inventory management, for instance, is a system whereby a firm receives inputs as close as possible to when they are needed. So, if a car assembly plant needs to install airbags, it does not keep a stock of airbags on its shelves but receives them as those cars come onto the assembly line. Total asset turnover ratio should be looked at together with the company’s financing mix and its net profit margin for a better analysis as discussed in DuPont analysis. For Year 1, we’ll divide Year 1 sales (\$300m) by the average between the Year 0 and Year 1 PP&E balances (\$85m and \$90m), which comes out to a ratio of 3.4x. An efficient company can deliver on its desired level of sales with a reasonable investment in assets. In other words, Sally’s start up in not very efficient with its use of assets.

## Formula for Asset Turnover Ratio

Comparisons are only meaningful when they are made for different companies within the same sector. It is the gross sales from a specific period less returns, allowances, or discounts taken by customers. When comparing the asset turnover ratio between companies, ensure the net sales calculations are being pulled from the same period.

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Companies with fewer assets on their balance sheet (e.g., software companies) tend to have higher ratios than companies with business models that require significant spending on assets. As with all financial ratios, a closer look is necessary to understand the company-specific factors that can impact the ratio. Such ratios should be viewed as indicators of internal or competitive advantages (e.g., management asset management) rather than being interpreted at face value without further inquiry. High turnover means that the company uses a small percentage of its assets each year to generate huge amounts of sales. However, it could be difficult to achieve high asset turnover if there are few assets to work with (for example, a company that manufactures custom clothes for each customer). The asset turnover ratio is a key component of DuPont analysis, a system that the DuPont Corporation began in the 1920s to evaluate performance across corporate divisions.

## How to calculate total asset turnover? Applying the total asset turnover ratio formula

As at 1 January 20X1, Gamma had total assets of \$100, total fixed assets of \$60 and net working capital of \$20. During FY 20X1 it generated sales of \$200 with COGS of \$160 and its total assets as at 30 December 20X1 were \$120. During the year it charged depreciation of \$10 and there were no fixed asset additions during the year. Calculate total asset turnover, fixed asset turnover and working capital turnover ratios.

As a quick example, the company’s A/R balance will grow from \$20m in Year 0 to \$30m by the end of Year 5. The asset turnover ratio is most helpful when compared to that of industry peers and tracking how the ratio has trended over time. Therefore, for every dollar in total assets, Company A generated \$1.5565 in sales.

Irrespective of whether the total or fixed variation is used, the asset turnover ratio is not practical as a standalone metric without a point of reference. This ratio is useful because it allows you to compare companies in similar industries when they are using different accounting methods (e.g., the LIFO method for determining inventory value, or Depreciation). By contrast, to achieve the same volume of business, a less efficient company will make a greater investment in assets (thereby incurring larger financial costs and, hence, recording a lower return on investment). This ratio may seem unnatural, but it is helpful when assessing how efficiently the assets of a business are being used. After all, the main reason for holding an asset is to help the company achieve a certain level of sales.

The asset turnover ratio considers the average total assets in the denominator, while the fixed asset turnover ratio looks at only fixed assets. The fixed asset turnover ratio (FAT ratio) is used by analysts to measure operating performance. The asset turnover ratio measures how effectively a company uses its assets to generate revenues or sales. The ratio compares the dollar amount of sales or revenues to the company’s total assets to measure the efficiency of the company’s operations. The asset turnover ratio measures the efficiency of a company’s assets in generating revenue or sales.

Asset turnover ratios vary throughout different sectors, so only the ratios of companies that are in the same sector should be compared. The ratio is typically calculated on an annual basis, though any time period can be selected. The fixed asset turnover ratio formula divides a company’s net sales by the value of its average fixed assets. The total asset turnover ratio is a general efficiency ratio that measures how efficiently a company uses all of its assets. This gives investors and creditors an idea of how a company is managed and uses its assets to produce products and sales. Depreciation is the allocation of the cost of a fixed asset, which is expensed each year throughout the asset’s useful life.

1. The fixed asset turnover ratio and the working capital ratio are turnover ratios similar to the asset turnover ratio that are often used to calculate the efficiency of these asset classes.
2. This improves the company’s asset turnover ratio in the short term as revenue (the numerator) increases as the company’s assets (the denominator) decrease.
3. Like with most ratios, the asset turnover ratio is based on industry standards.
4. The asset turnover ratio tends to be higher for companies in certain sectors than others.
5. Asset turnover ratios vary throughout different sectors, so only the ratios of companies that are in the same sector should be compared.
6. The asset turnover ratio is most helpful when compared to that of industry peers and tracking how the ratio has trended over time.

He is a CFA charterholder as well as holding FINRA Series 7, 55 & 63 licenses. He currently researches and teaches economic sociology and the social studies of finance at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Additionally, you can track how your investments into ordering new assets have performed year-over-year to see if the decisions paid off or require adjustments going forward. Someone on our team will connect you with a financial professional in our network holding the correct designation and expertise. Our goal is to deliver the most understandable and comprehensive explanations of financial topics using simple writing complemented by helpful graphics and animation videos. Our team of reviewers are established professionals with decades of experience in areas of personal finance and hold many advanced degrees and certifications.

The working capital ratio measures how well a company uses its financing from working capital to generate sales or revenue. The asset turnover ratio is an efficiency ratio that measures a company’s ability to generate sales from its assets by comparing net sales with average total assets. In other words, this ratio shows how efficiently a company can use its assets to generate sales. A common variation of the asset turnover ratio is the fixed asset turnover ratio. Instead of dividing net sales by total assets, the fixed asset turnover divides net sales by only fixed assets. This variation isolates how efficiently a company is using its capital expenditures, machinery, and heavy equipment to generate revenue.

The average value of the assets for the year is determined using the value of the company’s assets on the balance sheet as of the start of the year and at the end of the year. Total sales or revenue is found on the company’s income statement and is the numerator. The asset turnover ratio can also be analyzed by tracking the ratio for a single company over time. As the company grows, the asset turnover ratio measures how efficiently the company is expanding over time; especially compared to the rest of the market.

The total asset turnover ratio compares the sales of a company to its asset base. The ratio measures the ability of an organization to efficiently produce sales, and is typically used by third parties to evaluate the operations of a business. Ideally, a company with a high total asset turnover ratio can operate with fewer assets than a less efficient competitor, and so requires less debt and equity to operate.

The asset turnover ratio reflects the relationship between the value of the total assets held by a company and the value of its annual sales (i.e., turnover). Sally’s Tech Company is a tech start up company that manufactures a new tablet computer. Sally is currently looking for new investors and has a meeting with an angel investor.

The total asset turnover is defined as the amount of revenue a company can generate per unit asset. Mathematically, it can be understood as revenue over the average total assets. You can use our revenue Calculator and efficiency calculator to understand more on these topics.