What Is Return on Assets?

What Is Return on Assets?

By Charles Joseph | Editor, Financial Affairs
Reviewed by Corey Michael | Senior Financial Analyst

Return on Assets (ROA) is a profitability ratio that gives an overview of a company’s financial efficiency. It shows how much profit a company is making from its total assets invested. A higher ROA implies a company is using its assets more efficiently to generate profits. To calculate ROA, you divide the net income of a company by its total assets. In other words, ROA = Net Income / Total Assets. This value is usually represented as a percentage.

Related Questions

1. What does a high ROA indicate?

A high ROA indicates that the company is earning more profit from its assets in comparison to its competitors. It suggests the company is more effective and efficient in using its investments to generate income.

2. How does ROA differ from Return on Equity (ROE)?

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Whereas ROA measures how well a company uses all its assets to generate income, ROE only considers how effectively the company uses its equity to generate earnings. Equity is just a portion of total assets, while assets include equity and liabilities.

3. Can ROA be negative?

Yes, ROA can be negative. A negative ROA indicates that the company is not making a profit despite having assets. It’s a red flag for investors as it indicates the company is not efficiently using its assets to generate earnings.

4. How can a company improve its ROA?

A company can improve its ROA by increasing its earnings without increasing assets proportionately, or by reducing assets without a proportional decrease in earnings. This can include cost cuttings, streamlining operations, or increasing product prices.

5. Why is ROA useful for investors?

ROA is a general indicator of a company’s financial health and operational efficiency. A comparative ROA can show how well a company is performing against its peers, thus providing insights for investment decisions.