Fixed Asset Turnover Ratio Explained With Examples

  12. Mai 2022, von Sebastian

The ratio is meant to isolate how efficiently the company uses its fixed asset base to generate sales (i.e., capital expenditures). While the income statement measures a metric across two periods, balance sheet items reflect values at a certain point of time. This assessment helps make pivotal decisions on whether to continue investing and determines how well a business is being run.

  • The asset turnover ratio is expressed as a rational number that may be a whole number or may include a decimal.
  • My journey from a finance-loving teenager to a tech entrepreneur has been a thrilling ride, full of surprises and lessons.
  • Investors and creditors use this formula to understand how well the company is utilizing their equipment to generate sales.
  • The figure for net sales often can be found on the top line of a company’s income statement, while net income is always at the bottom line.
  • Then you can assess how your asset turnover compares to the competition.

The fixed asset turnover ratio is calculated by dividing net sales by the average balance of fixed assets of a period. Though the ratio is helpful as a comparative tool over time or against other companies, it fails to identify unprofitable companies. The fixed asset turnover ratio (FAT) is a comparison between net sales and average fixed assets to determine business efficiency. The asset turnover ratio helps investors understand how effectively companies are using their assets to generate sales. Investors use this ratio to compare similar companies in the same sector or group to determine who’s getting the most out of their assets.

Interpretation of Fixed Assets Turnover Ratio

Understanding your Fixed Asset Turnover can be a cornerstone in your strategic planning. A high ratio could indicate that your current assets are being utilized to their fullest, signalling that it might be a good time to expand. Conversely, a low ratio could mean it’s time to reassess and refine your current strategies before taking on more.

This can only be determined by comparing a company’s most recent ratio to earlier periods. Such comparisons must be with ratios of other similar businesses or industry norms. The asset turnover ratio uses total assets, whereas the fixed asset turnover ratio focuses only on the business’s fixed assets. Total asset turnover indicates several of management’s decisions regarding capital expenditures and other assets.

Limitations of Using the Fixed Asset Ratio

The ratio compares net sales with its average net fixed assets—which are property, plant, and equipment (PPE) minus the accumulated depreciation. By doing this calculation, we can determine the amount of income made by a company per dollar invested in net fixed assets. The asset turnover ratio measures the efficiency of a company’s assets in generating revenue or sales. It compares the dollar amount of sales (revenues) to its total assets as an annualized percentage.

How to calculate fixed asset turnover ratio and examples

The turnover metric falls short, however, in being distorted by significant one-time capital expenditures (Capex) and asset sales. Get instant access to lessons taught by experienced private equity pros and bulge bracket investment bankers including financial statement modeling, DCF, M&A, LBO, Comps and Excel Modeling. A low turn over, on the other hand, indicates that the company isn’t using its assets to their fullest extent. For example, they might be producing products that no one wants to buy. Also, they might have overestimated the demand for their product and overinvested in machines to produce the products.

How Is Asset Turnover Ratio Used?

This is especially true in the manufacturing business, where large, expensive equipment purchases are common. Creditors want to know that a new piece of equipment will generate enough money to repay the loan that was utilized to purchase it. Asset turnover is a key figure for evaluating the efficiency with which a company uses its assets to generate income. Here we show you what asset turnover actually means, how it is calculated and what it indicates. But if your ratio is lagging behind the industry average, it’s a red flag.

For example, a company might report a high ratio but weak cash flow because most sales are on credit. The company has not yet received payment for the products it has shipped. An increase in sales only leads to a buildup of accounts receivable, not an increase in cash inflows. We now have all the required inputs, so we’ll take the net sales for the current period and divide it by the average asset balance of the prior and current periods. The ratio of company X can be compared with that of company Y because both the companies belong to same industry. Generally speaking the comparability of ratios is more useful when the companies in question operate in the same industry.

In addition to historical comparisons, comparing the ratio to competing companies or industry averages is essential to provide deeper insight. 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. Over time, positive increases in the turnover ratio can serve as an indication that a company is gradually expanding into its capacity as it matures (and the reverse for decreases across time). 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. Purchases of property, plants, and equipment are a signal that management has faith in the long-term outlook and profitability of its company.


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