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How To Calculate Return On Invested Capital?

In the intricate realm of financial analysis, understanding and computing key metrics is paramount for investors, analysts, and businesses alike. Among these metrics, "How to calculate Return on Invested Capital" stands out as a crucial yardstick for evaluating a company's financial performance and efficiency.

Camilo Wood
Jan 10, 2024132 Shares16485 Views
In the intricate realm of financial analysis, understanding and computing key metrics is paramount for investors, analysts, and businesses alike. Among these metrics, "How to calculate Return on Invested Capital" stands out as a crucial yardstick for evaluating a company's financial performance and efficiency.
Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) serves as a beacon, illuminating the effectiveness with which a company utilizes its capital to generate profits.
This guide delves into the intricacies of the ROIC calculation, offering a comprehensive exploration of the formula and methodologies essential for unraveling the financial tapestry of businesses.
Join us on a journey through financial landscapes as we unravel the steps and insights on calculating return on invested capital, a pivotal metric in the language of corporate finance.

What Is Return On Invested Capital?

As a measure of a business's ability to turn its investment capital into profit, return on invested capital (ROIC) is an important profitability ratio. ROIC serves as a crucial metric in evaluating a company's profitability and performance.
Profit after taxes (NOPAT) divided by invested capital is the formula for this metric. Whether invested capital is being used effectively can be seen by comparing a company's return on invested capital (ROIC) with its weighted average cost of capital (WACC).
Companies use the return on invested capital (ROIC) ratio as a measure of how well other companies use capital to generate income, which helps them determine how valuable other companies are.

How To Calculate ROIC

Examining a business's financial records is necessary for determining its return on invested capital. The ROIC formula, a pivotal metric in financial analysis, is expressed as:
ROIC = NOPAT​ / Invested Capital
Here, NOPAT stands for Net Operating Profit After Tax. Essentially, ROIC gauges the percentage return a company generates on the capital invested in its operations, offering valuable insights into its operational efficiency and financial performance.
This formula can also be articulated as:
ROIC = (Net Income – Dividends) / (Debt + Equity )
A straightforward method for determining ROIC is to split invested capital by net operating profit after taxes (NOPAT).

Calculate NOPAT

Two values that may be found on an income statement—EBIT, or Earnings Before Interest and Taxes, and the marginal tax rate—are required to compute NOPAT.
To locate EBIT, you might need to do some digging. Include all of the company's income, not just operational income. Subtracting depreciation and amortization costs from EBITDA is another option.
The current federal marginal tax rate for most U.S.-based firms is 21%. Where a business is physically located and pays taxes determines the applicable state tax rate. You may alternatively use the effective tax rate that the corporation had for that time, but you would have to account for any special tax situations.
The formula to calculate net operating profit after taxes is EBIT * (1-tax rate).
A company's net income after taxes (NPAT) would be $750 million if, for instance, its EBIT was $1 billion and its marginal tax rate was 25%.

Calculate Invested Capital

Investment capital may be determined in two ways: by adding up all of a company's assets or by adding up all of its debt and equity funding. If you have to choose, it's best to use the company's assets to determine invested capital, as it shows you exactly how the business is spending its money.
The first step in determining invested capital is to determine working capital using the assets shown on the balance sheet. Current assets less current obligations (such as accounts payable or accumulated costs) that do not bear interest is the formula for working capital.
After deducting goodwill, property, and equipment from net working capital, the remaining amount is invested capital.
A corporation would have $5 billion in invested capital if, for instance, its current assets were $2 billion, its non-interest-bearing current liabilities were $1 billion, its property, facilities, and equipment were $2.5 billion, its goodwill was $500 million, and its other operational assets were $1 billion.
Excess cash, defined as funds that are not required for operating expenses, can be used to lower invested capital. However, there are no concrete guidelines for figuring out how much cash is required and how much is surplus.
Dividing the two variables becomes easy when you know NOPAT and have invested money. With $750 million divided by $5 billion, or 15%, we get ROIC.
Return on Invested Capital Formula
Return on Invested Capital Formula

What Is Invested Capital In ROIC?

Within the intricate framework of ROIC calculation, the bedrock lies in understanding and unraveling the essence of NOPAT and invested capital.


At its core, NOPAT, or "EBIAT," delves into the tax-affected operating income (EBIT) of the company. This metric is pivotal as it reflects the income subjected to taxation, emphasizing a nuanced perspective.
NOPAT=EBIT×(1−Tax Rate %)NOPAT=EBIT×(1−Tax Rate %)
This calculation, straightforward in essence, illuminates how EBIT, or operating income, undergoes taxation as if devoid of any debt, thereby eliminating interest expense from consideration.

Invested Capital (IC)

On the flip side, the determination of invested capital (IC) ventures into a more intricate realm. It encapsulates the amalgamation of fixed assets, net working capital (NWC), and acquired intangibles, notably goodwill.
Invested Capital (IC)=Fixed Assets+Net Working Capital (NWC)+Acquired Intangibles+GoodwillInvested Capital (IC)=Fixed Assets+Net Working Capital (NWC)+Acquired Intangibles+Goodwill
Here, the challenge lies in the dual pathways available for computation, each harmoniously aligning with double-entry accounting principles.
  • Net Working Capital (NWC):This entails the dollar value of net assets required for the day-to-day operations, providing a snapshot of the operational needs.
  • Capital Expenditure (Capex):This incorporates the funding from creditors and shareholders, earmarked for acquiring the company's assets, distinguishing between growth and maintenance capex.
As an alternative, incorporating net debt—obtained by deducting cash and cash equivalents from gross debt—and equity values from the balance sheet results in a more efficient method of calculating invested capital.
Here, the exclusion of cash and cash equivalents recognizes their non-operational status, while a similar logic applies to debt and interest-bearing securities.

Intangibles And Challenges

Challenges surface, particularly in intangible-intensive industries, where unacquired intangible assets pose intricacies. While acquired intangibles and goodwill find intuitive inclusion, capturing the value of unacquired intangibles, like research and development (R&D) expenses, becomes a nuanced endeavor.
One method contemplates capitalizing intangible investments, yet the inherent subjectivity introduces a layer of complexity. The discretionary nature of adjustments creates a potential distortion in the comparability of the ROIC metric, emphasizing the need for a nuanced understanding in navigating these intricacies.
For those seeking deeper insights, exploring the dynamics of invested capital (IC) opens the gateway to a comprehensive comprehension of financial metrics.

Determining The Value Of A Company

Looking at the return on invested capital ratio is one way for a corporation to assess its growth. Typically, a company will sell at a premium if it creates more value than it costs to acquire money through its investments.
The corporation may secure its future growth by reinvesting excess returns. An investment is considered to be value-destroying if its returns are lower than the cost of capital.
In a nutshell, a corporation is said to be creating value if its return on invested capital (ROIC) is 2% higher than its cost of capital, and it is said to be destroying value if its ROIC is 2% lower than its cost of capital.
In this scenario, the set estimation error is 2%, yet there are certain businesses that operate at a loss since their return on capital is less than zero.

Calculating The ROIC For A Company

You can figure out how much money a business makes back on its investment using this formula:
ROIC = Net Operating Profit After Tax (NOPAT) / Invested Capital​
Instead of using the market value, the book value is thought to be a better fit for this purpose. If a fast-growing company's market value is used to measure the return on capital invested, the result could be deceptive. This is because aspirations for the future are a major component of market value.
A company's earning ability is reflected in its market value, which also provides the worth of its current assets. The market value might cause the return on capital to be equal to the cost of capital if there are no growing assets.
Adding fixed assets to working capital allows corporations with minority stakes in non-operating entities to access invested money. On the other hand, if a business has non-debt long-term obligations, you may figure out its book value of invested capital by adding up its current and fixed assets and then subtracting its current liabilities and cash.
If a business keeps track of all of its initiatives, its return on invested capital should be the sum of all of those returns, divided by the cost of capital.

Determining A Company’s Competitiveness

To be competitive, a company must outperform its rivals in terms of profit. When a company's manufacturing cost per unit is lower than its competitors, it becomes competitive.
From a production or consumption perspective, one might examine competitive advantages. When one firm can provide a service or products at a cheaper price than its rivals, that business has a production advantage.
When it provides products or services that rivals find hard to replicate, it has a consumption advantage. You can find out how long a company's competitive advantages will last by looking at its ROIC ratio. An alternate method for determining the ROIC is as follows:
ROIC = NOPAT/Sales ​× Sales/Invested Capital​
Sales/Invested Capital measures capital efficiency, whereas NOPAT/Sales ratio amplifies profit per margin.
After deducting all expenses from revenues, the remaining amount is the ROIC, or NOPAT/Invested Capital. When a company's NOPAT margin is large, leading to a high ROIC, the consumption advantage forms the basis of the competitive analysis.
On the other hand, if the high turnover ratio is to blame for the returns, then the relative competitiveness of the firm may be attributed to its manufacturing advantage.

Drawbacks Of ROIC

One financial indicator of a business's health over time is return on invested capital (ROIC). But it's not without its flaws. To start, it might not work for every business because different industries or types of capital-intensive operations call for different approaches.
Second, because capital is integral to many financial services and products, it is less relevant to these sectors. Third, there are a number of variables that might lead to erroneous ROIC calculations; for example, a firm with substantial goodwill on its balance sheet would have a lower ROIC than it actually is because the denominator is larger.
Furthermore, ROIC results may be skewed if there are large capital leases in comparison to competitors. Lastly, net working capital should not include excess cash on hand because, unless adjusted, it can deflate ROIC.
Last but not least, the evaluation of regular company operations should not be based on one-off events that cause substantial gains or losses.

FAQs - How To Calculate Return On Invested Capital

What Is The Significance Of Return On Invested Capital (ROIC) In Financial Analysis?

Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) holds immense importance in financial analysis as it provides a comprehensive measure of how efficiently a company utilizes its capital to generate profits. It aids investors and analysts in assessing a business's ability to create value from its investments.

How Can One Calculate Net Operating Profit After Tax (NOPAT) For ROIC?

To calculate NOPAT for ROIC, one needs to multiply the company's operating income (EBIT) by the effective tax rate. NOPAT is a crucial component in the ROIC formula, representing the after-tax operating profits available to both debt and equity holders.

What Factors Contribute To A Company Having A High ROIC?

Companies with a high ROIC often exhibit efficient capital utilization and sustainable competitive advantages. This can result from lower production costs, effective management, unique market positioning, or innovative strategies that contribute to increased profitability.

Is There A Specific Benchmark For A Good ROIC?

While the ideal ROIC benchmark can vary across industries, a general rule of thumb is that a company with an ROIC exceeding its cost of capital is deemed healthy and competitive. However, industries with higher capital requirements may have different benchmarks.

How Does ROIC Contribute To Investment Decision-making?

ROIC plays a pivotal role in investment decision-making by offering insights into a company's profitability and efficiency. Investors often consider a consistently high ROIC as an indicator of a well-managed and financially sound company, influencing their investment choices.

Final Thoughts

Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) is a financial indicator that shows how well a business uses its capital and generates value from its investments.
Mastering the intricacies of "how to calculate Return on Invested Capital" empowers investors, financial analysts, and business leaders to gain profound insights into a company's financial prowess.
A sustainable business model is indicated by a consistently lower return on investment (ROIC), thus it should be greater than its cost of capital. ROIC can shed light on financing, future investments, and trends in the past, which is especially helpful for capital-intensive businesses.
Companies can also use it to compare themselves to their competitors; a higher ROIC suggests a premium valuation and a competitive advantage. Investors can improve their investing skills by studying a company's financial records and learning about its history.
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