How to calculate ROIC (Return On Invested Capital)? We will start off with explaining how ROA (Return On Assets) relates to ROIC, go through the definition of ROIC, and analyze the ROIC calculations of 3 well-known companies. You learn most by applying concepts to real-life situations, so please watch the entire video to get the full picture!
ROIC (Return On Invested Capital) is very closely related to the easier to understand metric ROA (Return On Assets), so it makes sense to quickly walk through the definition of ROA first. Return On Assets is simply Net Income divided by Total Assets. To find the Net Income of a company, you take its income statement or profit and loss statement, and go to the very bottom: the line called Net Income, also known as “the bottom line”. This is the numerator in the equation. Then for the denominator, you turn to the balance sheet, and take the number of Total Assets at the bottom on the left. As a balance sheet needs to balance between what a company owns (on the left) and what a company owes (on the right), you could also take the sum of all liabilities and equity, as this is the same number.
So Return On Assets is very easy to calculate. If you want to improve the ROA of your company, you either work on initiatives to generate more Net Income, and/or initiatives to lower the Assets base. This is covered in a related video on Return On Assets that I will link to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5CrcMSBARU
What is the definition of ROIC and how does it differ from ROA? Let me walk you through the semi-official definition of ROIC. The reason why I call this semi-official will become clear to you when we go through the examples of real-life companies disclosing their ROIC calculation later in this video. In the numerator of the ROIC calculation are the returns generated for debt & equity holders, in the denominator is Debt plus Equity. More specifically, the returns generated for debt & equity holders are usually defined as after-tax interest + Net Income. Another description for the same thing is Net Operating Profit After Tax (NOPAT). With after-tax interest + Net Income, you start at the bottom of the income statement, and work your way up. With Net Operating Profit After Tax, you start a little higher in the income statement, and work your way down. From this definition of ROIC, you immediately see that the numerator of ROIC under normal economic circumstances is likely to be higher than the numerator of ROA: After-tax interest + Net Income should be higher than Net Income by itself. For the denominator of the equation, the sum of Debt and Equity is lower than Total Assets. If you compare ROIC to ROA, then the numerator in the ROIC equation is higher, and the denominator is lower. So in total, the outcome of the ROIC calculation should always be higher than the outcome of the ROA calculation.
A related video compares ROIC to ROE, ROA and ROI: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBaFHRfpOK8&index=15&list=PLKbmcnUUQMllBmY-09UdYNYZHBNHAODpR
Let’s compare the way 3M, GM and Home Depot have defined and calculated ROIC, as we are not looking at apples-to-apples comparisons. 3M has nicely summarized why! Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) is not defined under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. Therefore, ROIC should not be considered a substitute for other measures prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP and may not be comparable to similarly titled measures by other companies. The Company defines ROIC as adjusted net income (net income including non-controlling interest plus after-tax interest expense) divided by average invested capital (equity plus debt)….” So 3M’s definition is very similar to the semi-official definition I showed earlier. Let’s go through each company’s ROIC calculation in detail.
Philip de Vroe (The Finance Storyteller) aims to make strategy, finance and leadership enjoyable and easier to understand. Learn the business and accounting vocabulary to join the conversation with your CEO at your company. Understand how financial statements work in order to make better stock market investing decisions. Philip delivers #financetraining in various formats: YouTube videos, classroom sessions, webinars, and business simulations. Connect with me through Linked In!