Asset Turnover: Formula, Calculation, and Interpretation

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Thomas J Catalano is a CFP and Registered Investment Adviser with the state of South Carolina, where he launched his own financial advisory firm in 2018. Thomas’ experience gives him expertise in a variety of areas including investments, retirement, insurance, and financial planning. Double Entry Bookkeeping is here to provide you with free online information to help you learn and understand bookkeeping and introductory accounting. Thus, a sustainable balance must be struck between being efficient while also spending enough to be at the forefront of any new industry shifts. On the flip side, a turnover ratio far exceeding the industry norm could be an indication that the company should be spending more and might be falling behind in terms of development.

In our hypothetical scenario, the company has net sales of $250m, which is anticipated to increase by $50m each year. 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. Remember we always use the net PPL by subtracting the depreciation intuit tax calculator from gross PPL. If a company uses an accelerated depreciation method like double declining depreciation, the book value of their equipment will be artificially low making their performance look a lot better than it actually is. Suppose an industrials company generated $120 million in net revenue in the past year, with $40 million in PP&E.

  1. Remember we always use the net PPL by subtracting the depreciation from gross PPL.
  2. Additionally, it could mean that the company has sold off its equipment and started outsourcing its operations.
  3. The asset turnover ratio measures how effectively a company uses its assets to generate revenue or sales.
  4. Ongoing depreciation will inevitably reduce the amount of the denominator, so the turnover ratio will rise over time, unless the company is investing an equivalent amount in new fixed assets to replace older ones.

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 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. 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.


Industries with low profit margins tend to generate a higher ratio and capital-intensive industries tend to report a lower ratio. Company A reported beginning total assets of $199,500 and ending total assets of $199,203. Over the same period, the company generated sales of $325,300 with sales returns of $15,000.

This is especially true for manufacturing businesses that utilize big machines and facilities. Although not all low ratios are bad, if the company just made some new large purchases of fixed assets for modernization, the low FAT may have a negative connotation. When the business is underperforming in sales and has a relatively high amount of investment in fixed assets, the FAT ratio may be low.

The return on assets ratio is related to the asset management category of financial ratios. However, the distinction is that the fixed asset turnover ratio formula includes solely long-term fixed assets, i.e. property, plant & equipment (PP&E), rather than all current and non-current assets. Based on the given figures, the fixed asset turnover ratio for the year is 9.51, meaning that for every dollar invested in fixed assets, a return of almost ten dollars is earned.

How to Calculate the Fixed Asset Turnover Ratio

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. The asset turnover ratio calculation can be modified to omit these uncommon revenue occurrences. Companies with cyclical sales may have worse ratios in slow periods, so the ratio should be looked at during several different time periods. Additionally, management could be outsourcing production to reduce reliance on assets and improve its FAT ratio, while still struggling to maintain stable cash flows and other business fundamentals.

Meanwhile, firms in sectors like utilities or manufacturing tend to have large asset bases, which translates to lower asset turnover. A low asset turnover ratio compared to the industry implies that either the company has invested too much capital into fixed assets, or its sales are not enough to meet fixed asset turnover industry standards. A fixed asset turnover ratio is an activity ratio that determines the success of a company based on how it’s using its fixed assets to make money.

The asset turnover ratio measures how effectively a company uses its assets to generate revenue 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. It is used to evaluate the ability of management to generate sales from its investment in fixed assets. A high ratio indicates that a business is doing an effective job of generating sales with a relatively small amount of fixed assets. In addition, it may be outsourcing work to avoid investing in fixed assets, or selling off excess fixed asset capacity. Depreciation is the allocation of the cost of a fixed asset, which is spread out—or expensed—each year throughout the asset’s useful life.

How to Evaluate a Company’s Balance Sheet

Therefore, to analyze a company’s fixed asset turnover ratio, we need to compare its ratios empirically with itself and within the industry and peer group to understand its efficiency better. Total asset turnover measures the efficiency of a company’s use of all of its assets. No, although high fixed asset turnover means that the company utilizes its fixed assets effectively, it does not guarantee that it is profitable. A company can still have high costs that will make it unprofitable even when its operations are efficient. Asset management ratios are the key to analyzing how effectively your business is managing its assets to produce sales. If you have too much invested in your company’s assets, your operating capital will be too high.

The asset turnover ratio may be artificially deflated when a company makes large asset purchases in anticipation of higher growth. Likewise, selling off assets to prepare for declining growth will artificially inflate the ratio. Also, many other factors (such as seasonality) can affect a company’s asset turnover ratio during periods shorter than a year. The asset turnover ratio uses the value of a company’s assets in the denominator of the formula. To determine the value of a company’s assets, the average value of the assets for the year needs to first be calculated.

The fixed asset turnover ratio is an effective way to check how efficient your assets are. A higher ratio is generally favored as there is the implication that the company is more efficient in generating sales or revenues. A lower ratio illustrates that a company may not be using its assets as efficiently. 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. We can now calculate the fixed asset turnover ratio by dividing the net revenue for the year by the average fixed asset balance, which is equal to the sum of the current and prior period balance divided by two.

How to Interpret Fixed Asset Turnover by Industry?

Conversely, a lower ratio indicates the company is not using its assets as efficiently. Same with receivables – collections may take too long, and credit accounts may pile up. Fixed assets such as property, plant, and equipment (PP&E) could be unproductive instead of being used to their full capacity. The asset turnover ratio measures the value of a company’s sales or revenues relative to the value of its assets. The asset turnover ratio can be used as an indicator of the efficiency with which a company is using its assets to generate revenue.

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