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# Understanding Return On Assets (ROA)

The stability of a company's financial position depends on several factors, including its business activity, the number of sales markets, the company's reputation, as well as the degree of efficiency in the use of assets. The rate of turnover of funds of the organization - is one of the most important indicators of its success, and to identify the digital indicator of return on assets economists introduced into circulation the ROA coefficient. Today we will find out how to calculate the return on assets coefficient, how it can be used, and what norms are considered acceptable.

### The Concept of the Return on Assets Ratio

Every commercial organization has certain assets on its balance sheet, capable of generating revenue for the legal entity. If the company manages the assets rationally, its total annual income is growing and the ROA indicator has a high mark. If the ratio is low, it can be argued that there are systemic errors in capital management.

The asset turnover ratio is a reflection of the turnover rate of a company's total capital. It demonstrates how many times during a certain period of time there is a production cycle and circulation, which brings profit. In other words, the indicator displays the amount of money that each unit of its assets brings to the company's budget.

A simple formula can be used to calculate the number of the asset turns over a fixed period of time. A simple mathematical action allows you to understand how effective the measures are taken in the process of making a profit during economic activity. ROA is most often used by financial analysts in their calculations, in order to diagnose the performance of a particular firm. The resulting numerical value clearly demonstrates what return a company has on the use of all its assets. In other words: ROA shows how much profit is made per each unit of money invested in an organization's property capital.

Using a whole system of ratios is a well-established practice that allows you to analyze the position of the firm. To get the full picture, of course, analysts need to have as much data as possible (the original balance sheet, income statement, etc.). But do not assume that a series of formulas is a reliable "predictor" that is guaranteed to bring success. Warren Buffett argues that a manager must have flair, which when combined with mathematical analysis, market monitoring and an active position produces stunning results.

### Calculating the ROA Ratio

When calculating the ROA ratio, economists and analysts use two basic concepts:

• The amount of a company's revenue taken over a single period of time;
• Total working capital or the average annual value of all assets of an enterprise.

The formula is the ratio of net sales revenue to the average annual value of the firm's assets. Usually, the figure is expressed as a percentage. For example, if the net profit of the company was 4 million dollars, and the total value of the company's assets is 8 million, then calculate the ROA ratio as follows: 2/8 * 100=25%

Here we should also define the key concepts:

• Assets are all tangible assets belonging to the company, which include not only money but also debts. The assets of the company are money and real estate, which together form its capital.
• The net profit of the company is the income received after the deduction of all expenses.

This rudimentary formula allows us to see how much profit a company makes on investments and to understand whether assets are fully utilized and how much it adds to capital. This valuable information allows you to reassess your company's priorities, set a new direction for the development, optimize costs, and find new markets. ROA often motivates managers to reorganize their business, stimulating them to make adjustments in the work of economists and financiers. In addition, the ratio can suggest what improvements can affect the value of gross revenue through more competent asset management.

Analysts often use the ROE ratio in their calculations, and unlike ROE, return on assets takes into account not just equity, but also all of a company's borrowed funds. Here, experts recommend analyzing historical data, that is, taking ROE data for past years into account. In this way, you can trace the dynamics of changes, and identify the peak of profitability and the reasons for the decrease in income from capital. The calculation is of enormous value not only to investors but also to executives of organizations and suppliers of goods. It is the value of the company and the quality of its work that helps to predetermine the amount of possible profit, which is what famous financiers have been saying for decades. The ability to analyze and objectively assess the situation is the key to success in business.

The decline in indicators does not always indicate an imminent crisis, because the main enemy is not the lack of money, but the lack of desire to change the situation, to look at it from a different angle. Even the most successful business experiences a stage of stagnation, at this point, enlisting the help of ROA indicator, the manager and his team of financiers is able to completely change the situation.

### Norm and Types

A decrease in ROA is most often caused by an increase in the company's liabilities to investors or a decrease in the growth of net income. If timely resort to the above formula, it is possible to stabilize the situation, to adjust the work with the assets. The concept of the rate of return on assets is relative because it directly depends on the type of activity of the enterprise.

For example, in such industries as engineering, electricity, coal mining, and other capital-intensive industries, the ROA ratio will certainly be lower than that of a company that sells goods and provides services. To the ROA figure, much attention is paid to potential investors, who are willing to invest in companies that show positive dynamics.

It is noteworthy that different countries have their own rate of ROA. For U.S. companies the average is 15%, while in Japan the norm is 7%. For the banking sector, even 1% is considered the norm. You can also calculate the real quality of the enterprise by using the ROE and ROIC. ROS is a measure of the profitability of an enterprise's revenues. It is a simple ratio of net profit to a company's total sales. The ROS helps investors understand what percentage of profit comes out of each dollar of revenue. The ROIC ratio shows the return on that portion of capital that is invested. It shows how well a company handles its investment. The indicator is not relevant for the service sector and the industry where luxury goods are sold.

### Pros and Cons of Applying the ROA Ratio

ROA can optimize a company's performance, identify weaknesses in the asset management process and encourage management to create a new concept of profit extraction. Analysts note that the ROA indicator has some inaccuracies as well. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the ROA ratio formula?

Pros:

• Demonstrates the performance of the company;
• Has a simple formula for calculation;
• Uses not only equity but also borrowed funds in the calculation, which makes the figure more accurate;
• Allows you to quickly eliminate redundancy.

Cons:

• Comparing the performance of the two companies, you need to pay attention to the structure of assets;
• Net income often has uncertainties;
• A high ratio sometimes "doesn't work" because of the company's minimal capital or a negative balance sheet.

### Conclusion

While the ROA coefficient in some cases should not be perceived as the main tool for determining the liquidity of the assets of an organization, it clearly demonstrates the general state of affairs. In combination with other calculations and indicators, it can reveal the true state of affairs in the company. A comprehensive assessment of a company's performance is the key to a successful investment.

Cult investor Warren Buffett has repeatedly pointed out in his writings the fact that it is worth being wary of "formula nerds". You can ignore a company's historical development and spend the lion's share of your time studying sales charts, but the concept of "return on assets" can open your eyes to a company's performance. In this case, Buffett, as always, demonstrated competence, as the application of the formula alone is capable of demonstrating the level of quality of capital management of a huge firm.

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