INVENTORY TURNS (Period Average) measures the average efficiency of the firm in managing and selling inventories during the last period, i.e., how many inventory turns the company has per period and whether that is getting better or worse. It is imperative to compare a company's inventory turns to the industry average. A company turning their inventory much slower than the industry average might be an indication that there is excessive old inventory on hand which would tie up their cash. The faster the inventory turns, the more efficiently the company manages their assets. However, if the company is in financial trouble, on the verge of bankruptcy, a sudden increase in inventory turns might indicate they are not able to get product from their suppliers, i.e., they are not carrying the correct level of inventory and may not have the product on hand to make their sales. If looking at a quarterly statement, there probably are more or less turns than an annual statement due to seasonality, i.e., their inventory levels will be higher just before the busy season than just after the busy season. This does not mean they are managing their inventory any differently; the ratio is just skewed because of seasonality. NOTE: Comparing the two INVENTORY TURNS (Period Average and Period End) suggests the direction in which inventories are moving, thereby allowing an analysis of efficiency improvements and/or potential burgeoning inventory problems. Formula:
(Inventory (current) + Inventory (last period) / 2)
OPERATING LEVERAGE is fixed operating costs divided by total (fixed plus variable) operating costs.
WIP is an acronym for Work in Process/Progress. Usually refers to inventory that has value added from labor or additional processing. When considered for inventory value, the value of the raw material plus the value added component is accounted for in determining the value of that inventory at that point in the process.
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