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Inventory Turnover Ratio: Definition, Formula, & Examples

Inventory turnover ratio measures how efficiently a company sells and replaces its inventory during a given period, calculated by dividing cost of goods sold by average inventory.

Why is inventory turnover ratio important?

Inventory turnover ratio measures how quickly a company sells its inventory, indicating its efficiency and liquidity in managing stock.

An easy way to understand inventory turnover ratio is:

Think of it as a measure of how quickly a company sells and replaces its inventory, calculated by dividing the cost of goods sold by the average inventory value.

Formula, & Examples Of Inventory Turnover Ratio

The inventory turnover ratio is a financial metric that measures how efficiently a company sells and replaces its inventory over a given period. It indicates how quickly a company can convert its inventory into sales. The formula for calculating the inventory turnover ratio is:

Inventory Turnover Ratio = Cost of Goods Sold / Average Inventory


Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) is the direct cost of producing the goods sold during the period.

Average Inventory is the average value of inventory held during the same period, calculated by adding the beginning and ending inventory values and dividing by two.

For example, if a company has a COGS of $1,000,000 and an average inventory of $200,000, the inventory turnover ratio would be:

Inventory Turnover Ratio = $1,000,000 / $200,000 = 5

This means that the company sells and replaces its inventory five times per year.

Here's another example: Company XYZ has the following financial data for the year:

Beginning Inventory: $100,000

Ending Inventory: $150,000

Cost of Goods Sold: $600,000

To calculate the inventory turnover ratio:

Calculate the average inventory.

Average Inventory = ($100,000 + $150,000) / 2 = $125,000

Calculate the inventory turnover ratio.

Inventory Turnover Ratio = $600,000 / $125,000 = 4.8

In this case, Company XYZ's inventory turnover ratio is 4.8, meaning they sell and replace their inventory 4.8 times per year.

A high inventory turnover ratio generally indicates efficient inventory management and strong sales, while a low ratio may suggest overstocking, obsolete inventory, or weak sales. However, the ideal inventory turnover ratio varies by industry, so it is essential to compare a company's ratio to its peers and track its trend over time.

Monitoring our inventory turnover ratio helps us manage product freshness and availability effectively. High turnover indicates strong sales and efficient inventory management, essential for meeting client expectations and maintaining financial efficiency.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the inventory turnover ratio and how is it calculated?

Why is a higher inventory turnover ratio generally seen as positive?

What can a low inventory turnover ratio indicate about a business?

How can companies improve their inventory turnover?

What impact does inventory turnover have on cash flow?

How do industry differences affect the ideal inventory turnover ratio?

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