# Fixed Asset Turnover Ratio Formula Example Calculation Explanation

This concept is important to investors because they want to be able to measure an approximate return on their investment. This is particularly true in the manufacturing industry where companies have large and expensive equipment purchases. Creditors, on the other hand, want to make sure that the company can produce enough revenues from a new piece of equipment to pay back the loan they used to purchase it. When the business is underperforming in sales and has a relatively high amount of investment in fixed assets, the FAT ratio may be low. Similarly, if a company doesn’t keep reinvesting in new equipment, this metric will continue to rise year over year because the accumulated depreciation balance keeps increasing and reducing the denominator. Thus, if the company’s PPL are fully depreciated, their ratio will be equal to their sales for the period.

• These include real properties, such as land and buildings, machinery and equipment, furniture and fixtures, and vehicles.
• The asset turnover ratio measures the value of a company’s sales or revenues relative to the value of its assets.
• 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.
• The fixed asset turnover ratio formula is calculated by dividing net sales by the total property, plant, and equipment net of accumulated depreciation.
• A 5x metric might be good for the architecture industry, but it might be horrible for the automotive industry that is dependent on heavy equipment.

But in order to be useful, the ratio must be compared to industry comparables, or companies with similar characteristics as the target company, such as similar business models, target end markets, and risks. Just-in-time (JIT) inventory management, for instance, is a system whereby a firm receives inputs as close as possible to when they are actually 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.

## How Can a Company Improve Its Asset Turnover Ratio?

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The fixed asset turnover ratio is most useful in a “heavy industry,” such as automobile manufacturing, where a large capital investment is required in order to do business. In other industries, such as software development, the fixed asset investment is so meager that the ratio is not of much use. Since the company’s revenue growth remains strong throughout the forecast period while its Capex spending declined, the fixed asset turnover ratio trends upward.

## Steps Used in Calculating Fixed Asset Turnover Ratio

It might also be low because of manufacturing problems like a bottleneck in the value chain that held up production during the year and resulted in fewer than anticipated sales. Despite the reduction in Capex, the company’s revenue is growing – higher revenue is being generated on lower levels of CapEx purchases. Unlike the initial equipment sale, the revenue from recurring component purchases and services provided to existing customers requires less spending on long-term assets.

• Alternatively, a company can gain insight into their competitors by evaluating how their fixed asset ratio compares to others.
• This is especially true for manufacturing businesses that utilize big machines and facilities.
• As with other business metrics, the asset turnover ratio is most effective when used to compare different companies in the same industry.
• In fact, what’s considered a “good” or “bad” ratio is very dependent on the industry.

Fixed Asset Turnover (FAT) is an efficiency ratio that indicates how well or efficiently a business uses fixed assets to generate sales. This ratio divides net sales by net fixed assets, calculated over an annual period. The net fixed assets include the amount of property, plant, and equipment, less the accumulated depreciation.

Like many other accounting figures, a company’s management can attempt to make its efficiency seem better on paper than it actually is. Selling off assets to prepare for declining growth, for instance, has the effect of artificially inflating the ratio. Changing depreciation methods for fixed assets can have a similar effect as it will change the accounting value of the firm’s 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, like the total asset turnover ratio, tracks how efficiently a company’s assets are being put to use (and producing sales). Clearly, it would not make sense to compare the asset turnover ratios for Walmart and AT&T, since they operate in very different industries. But comparing the relative asset turnover ratios for AT&T compared with Verizon may provide a better estimate of which company is using assets more efficiently in that industry. As an example, consider the difference between an internet company and a manufacturing company.

## Example of How to Use the Asset Turnover Ratio

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. The asset turnover ratio uses total assets instead of focusing only on fixed assets as done in the FAT ratio. Using total assets acts as an indicator of a number of management’s decisions on capital expenditures and other assets. The fixed asset turnover ratio is similar to the tangible asset ratio, which does not include the net cost of intangible assets in the denominator. Investors who are looking for investment opportunities in an industry with capital-intensive businesses may find FAT useful in evaluating and measuring the return on money invested.

## How to Calculate the Fixed Asset Turnover Ratio

In addition, there are differences in the cashflow between when net sales are collected and when fixed assets are invested in. 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. 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.