What is the Return on Assets?

Return on Assets

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Return on Assets

Return on Assets (ROA) is a financial metric that indicates the profitability of a company relative to its total assets. It provides insight into how effectively the management is using the company’s assets to generate profits. In essence, ROA tells you what earnings were generated from invested capital (assets).

The formula to calculate ROA is:

ROA = Net Income / Average Total Assets


  • Net Income is the profit of the company after all expenses and taxes.
  • Average Total Assets is the average total assets the company had at its disposal during the period. It’s typically calculated by adding the beginning and ending total assets for a period, and then dividing by two.

ROA is expressed as a percentage, and a higher ROA indicates better asset utilization and stronger financial performance.

Example of the Return on Assets

Let’s walk through a fictional example to illustrate the concept of Return on Assets (ROA).

SunTech Inc. is a company that manufactures solar panels. We want to evaluate its ability to generate profit from its assets in the year 2023.

Given Data:

  • Net Income for 2023: $5 million
  • Total Assets at the start of 2023: $30 million
  • Total Assets at the end of 2023: $40 million

Step 1: Calculate Average Total Assets

Average Total Assets = (Beginning Total Assets + Ending Total Assets) / 2

Average Total Assets} = ($30 million + $40 million) / 2
Average Total Assets} = $35 million

Step 2: Calculate ROA

ROA = Net Income / Average Total Assets

ROA = $5 million / $35 million
ROA = 0.1429

Convert to percentage: 0.1429 × 100 = 14.29

Thus, SunTech Inc.’s ROA for 2023 is 14.29%.

SunTech Inc. generated a return of 14.29% on its assets in 2023. In other words, for every dollar of assets it had, SunTech earned about 14.29 cents in profit during the year. This suggests that the company’s management was relatively efficient in using its assets to generate profits that year.

Comparing this ROA with industry benchmarks or competitors can give further insights into SunTech’s performance in the broader context.

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