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Fixed Assets Turnover Ratio: How to Calculate and Interpret

All of these are depreciated from the initial asset value periodically until they reach the end of their usefulness or are retired. These are regularly depreciated from the original asset until the end of their useful life or retirement. Prior to accepting a position as the Director of Operations Strategy at DJO Global, Manu was a management consultant with McKinsey & Company in Houston.

Since using the gross equipment values would be misleading, we always use the net asset value that’s reported on the balance sheet by subtracting the accumulated depreciation from the gross. On the other hand, company XYZ – a competitor of ABC in the same sector – had total revenue of $8 billion at the end of the same fiscal year. Its total assets were $1 billion at the beginning of the year and $2 billion at the end. Because the fixed asset ratio is best used as a comparative tool, it’s crucial that the same method of picking information is used across periods.

  1. Overall it remains a valuable indicator for evaluating management’s effectiveness in using fixed assets to generate sales.
  2. The asset turnover ratio tends to be higher for companies in certain sectors than in others.
  3. A higher number indicates assets are being used more efficiently to produce revenue.
  4. The asset turnover ratio is used to evaluate how efficiently a company is using its assets to drive sales.
  5. Learn financial statement modeling, DCF, M&A, LBO, Comps and Excel shortcuts.

Fixed asset figures on the balance sheet are net fixed assets because they have been adjusted for accumulated depreciation. Return on Equity (ROE) measures a company’s ability to generate profits for shareholders from their equity investment. Changes in fixed asset turnover directly impact ROE for capital intensive companies which have significant fixed assets. This shows they not only use fixed assets efficiently to generate sales, but also translate those sales into bottom-line profits.


This metric is also used to analyze companies that invest heavily in PP&E or long-term assets, such as the manufacturing industry. The fixed asset turnover ratio formula is calculated by dividing net sales by the total property, plant, and equipment net of accumulated depreciation. Therefore, the ratio fails to tell analysts whether or not a company is even profitable. A company may be generating record levels of sales and efficiently using their fixed assets; however, the company may also have record levels of variable, administrative, or other expenses.

Analyzing fixed asset turnover trends over time and benchmarking against industry averages can provide strategic insights to help improve business performance. A low fixed asset turnover ratio indicates that a business is over-invested in fixed assets. A low ratio may also indicate that a business needs to issue new products to revive its sales. Alternatively, it may have made a large investment in fixed assets, with a time delay before the new assets start to generate sales. Another possibility is that management has invested in areas that do not increase the capacity of the bottleneck operation, resulting in no additional throughput. The asset turnover ratio measures how effectively a company uses its assets to generate revenue or sales.

In these cases, the analyst can use specific ratios, such as the fixed-asset turnover ratio or the working capital ratio to calculate the efficiency of these asset classes. The working capital ratio measures how well a company uses its financing from working capital to generate sales or revenue. Fixed asset turnover (FAT) ratio financial metric measures the efficiency of a company’s use of fixed assets. This ratio assesses a company’s capacity to generate net sales from its fixed-asset investments, specifically property, plant, and equipment (PP&E). Return on Assets (ROA) measures how efficiently a company generates profits from assets.

What is a Good Asset Turnover Ratio?

Once this same process is done for each year, we can move on to the fixed asset turnover, where only PP&E is included rather than all the company’s assets. Companies with fewer assets on their balance sheet (e.g., software companies) tend formula for fixed asset turnover ratio to have higher ratios than companies with business models that require significant spending on assets. The asset turnover ratio is most helpful when compared to that of industry peers and tracking how the ratio has trended over time.

What does the Fixed Asset Turnover Ratio show?

Keep in mind that a high or low ratio doesn’t always have a direct correlation with performance. There are a few outside factors that can also contribute to this measurement. For example, inventory purchases or hiring technical staff to service customers are cheaper than major Capex. We’ll now move to a modeling exercise, which you can access by filling out the form below. Take your learning and productivity to the next level with our Premium Templates.

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. 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. The asset turnover ratio helps investors understand how effectively companies are using their assets to generate sales.

What is the Fixed Asset Turnover Ratio Formula?

For example, retail or service sector companies have relatively small asset bases combined with high sales volume. Meanwhile, firms in sectors like utilities or manufacturing tend to have large asset bases, which translates to lower asset turnover. The higher the asset turnover ratio, the better the company is performing, since higher ratios imply that the company is generating more revenue per dollar of assets. The higher the asset turnover ratio, the more efficient a company is at generating revenue from its assets. Conversely, if a company has a low asset turnover ratio, it indicates it is not efficiently using its assets to generate sales. The fixed asset turnover ratio shows how efficiently the resources of the business are being used to generate revenue.

It also impacts leverage ratios and metrics like Fixed Asset Turnover that evaluate management’s effective use of property, plant and equipment. 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. The fixed asset turnover ratio tracks how efficiently a company’s assets are being used (and producing sales), similar to the total asset turnover ratio. Manufacturing companies often favor the fixed asset turnover ratio over the asset turnover ratio because they want to get the best sense in how their capital investments are performing.

A system that began being used during the 1920s to evaluate divisional performance across a corporation, DuPont analysis calculates a company’s return on equity (ROE). Companies can artificially inflate their asset turnover ratio by selling off assets. 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. However, the company then has fewer resources to generate sales in the future.

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