Return On Assets (ROA): Definition & ROA Formula

Return On Assets (ROA): Definition & ROA Formula

A ratio called return on assets (ROA) is used to figure out how lucrative a company is in comparison to its assets. One of the numbers of financial measures that may be used to assess a company’s financial health is ROA. We’ll look at how to calculate it, why it’s significant, and how investors may use it to make smarter investing choices in this post.

ROA Meaning

Investors may learn how well a business generates revenue from its assets by looking at the return on assets ratio. The better a corporation is at using its assets to create the return, the higher the figure.

By dividing a company’s net income by all of its assets, ROA is determined. It also considers a business’s debt. Since these businesses are likely to need similar assets to operate, ROA is typically compared to other businesses in the same industry that are similarly sized.

Since ROA varies greatly throughout industries, comparing ROA across sectors isn’t always a reliable approach to evaluate a company’s success. For instance, an organization in industry would have a higher return on assets than one in capital-intensive industries like oil and gas.

Return on Assets Formula

It is easy to determine a return on assets. Simply multiply the result of dividing a company’s net income by its total assets by 100.

ROA = (Net Income / Total Assets) * 100

Return on Asset Formula (Originally created)

A company’s net income may be seen on its income statement, while its total assets can be found on its balance sheet. However, some individuals use the average total assets for a certain time period, such a quarter or a fiscal year, as a balance sheet is only a fleeting picture of a company’s assets.

What’s the Importance of ROA?

Investors can benefit from ROA as a measure. Investors may utilize ROA in a number of different ways to assist them to comprehend a company’s financial performance.

1. Determining Efficiency & Profitability

A firm is functioning more effectively than one earning less revenue if it has a high ROA. In particular, if a business is able to sustain a high ROA over time, it will have an effect on both short-term and long-term growth. The ROA of a business should be contrasted with that of another business in a related industry.

2. Industry Comparisons

ROA may be used to compare a company’s performance to that of its competitors in the same industry. For instance, it can look like a firm is operating better if it has a bigger net income than a rival. The other firm, however, is using its money and resources more effectively than the first company if it has a considerably greater ROA.

Remember to use caution when contrasting small and large businesses operating in the same sector because their asset compositions may differ. For instance, a new fintech firm with a business strategy built on delivering digital services will likely have less capital than a legacy financial services organization.

3. Comparisons Over Time

If a company’s ROA remains constant from year to year, investors could add value to it. This is because assuming future performance carries a lower risk. A significant drop in ROA can be a sign that the business is likely to experience problems down the road or that it overspent on an unprofitable asset.

What is a Good ROA?

Depending on the sector that the firm operates in, what makes a strong ROA will vary. For instance, although some businesses with a ROA of 5% may be seen to have “excellent ROA,” others may have a ROA of 20% or more.

ROA Limitations

While return on assets is a useful indicator for assessing a company’s capacity to transform its assets into profits, it can be challenging to determine what constitutes a good value. Since excellent ROA differs among industries and firm sizes, it’s important to compare ROA among businesses of comparable sizes in the same sector.

For businesses that have recently acquired office space, equipment, or manufacturing facilities, ROA may also skew lower. It’s possible that the firm made this decision in response to supply chain problems or cost savings that haven’t yet resulted in more revenue and are therefore not yet reflected in its ROA.

Example of How to Calculate Return on Assets

Manufacturing firm Acme Company has $1 billion in assets and a net income of $100 million. Divide $100 million by $1 billion to get Acme’s ROA. The outcome is 0.1, or 10%.

Build It Company, a manufacturer with just $50 million in net profits but $300 million in total assets, is Acme’s main rival. Divide $50 million by $300 million to get Build It’s ROA. The outcome is 0.16, or 16%.

Build It is possible to generate a profit of 16 percent for every dollar of assets, compared to Acme’s 10 percent profit per dollar of assets. This is an excellent illustration of how ROA may assist investors in comprehending the variations across firms to identify



What’s the best way to calculate the return on assets?

Divide net income by total assets for the most accurate technique to determine a return on assets. Using a spreadsheet or accounting software for businesses makes this simple to accomplish.

  • What’s the difference between ROA and return on equity?

Return on equity (ROE) measures how much income a firm can produce in proportion to shareholder equity, whereas the return on assets (ROA) measures how much revenue a company can produce in relation to its assets. The primary distinction between the two is that although ROE excludes debt, ROA does.


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