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GuruFocus has detected 4 Warning Signs with W.W. Grainger Inc \$NYSE:GWW.
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W.W. Grainger Inc (NYSE:GWW)
ROIC %
20.35% (As of Mar. 2017)

Return on invested capital measures how well a company generates cash flow relative to the capital it has invested in its business. It is also called Return on Capital (ROC). W.W. Grainger Inc's annualized return on invested capital (ROIC) for the quarter that ended in Mar. 2017 was 20.35%.

As of today, W.W. Grainger Inc's weighted average cost Of capital is 5.29%. W.W. Grainger Inc's return on invested capital is 16.89% (calculated using TTM income statement data). W.W. Grainger Inc generates higher returns on investment than it costs the company to raise the capital needed for that investment. It is earning excess returns. A firm that expects to continue generating positive excess returns on new investments in the future will see its value increase as growth increases.

Definition

W.W. Grainger Inc's annualized Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) for the fiscal year that ended in Dec. 2016 is calculated as:

 Return on Invested Capital (A: Dec. 2016 ) = NOPAT / Average Invested Capital = Oper. Inc.*(1-Tax Rate) / ( (Invested Capital (A: Dec. 2015 ) + Invested Capital (A: Dec. 2016 )) /2) = 1119.497 * ( 1 - 37.9% ) / ( (4051.41 + 3878.674) /2) = 695.207637 / 3965.042 = 17.53 %

where

 Invested Capital (A: Dec. 2015 ) = Book Value of Debt + Book Value of Equity - Cash = Long-Term Debt + Short-Term Debt + Minority Interest + Total Equity - Cash = 1388.414 + 600.418 + 86.08 + 2266.634 - 290.136 = 4051.41

 Invested Capital (A: Dec. 2016 ) = Book Value of Debt + Book Value of Equity - Cash = Long-Term Debt + Short-Term Debt + Minority Interest + Total Equity - Cash = 1840.946 + 406.106 + 107.833 + 1797.935 - 274.146 = 3878.674

W.W. Grainger Inc's annualized Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) for the quarter that ended in Mar. 2017 is calculated as:

 Return on Invested Capital (Q: Mar. 2017 ) = NOPAT / Average Invested Capital = Oper. Inc.*(1-Tax Rate) / ( (Invested Capital (Q: Dec. 2016 ) + Invested Capital (Q: Mar. 2017 )) /2) = 1181.952 * ( 1 - 32.45% ) / ( (3878.674 + 3967.063) /2) = 798.408576 / 3922.8685 = 20.35 %

where

 Invested Capital (Q: Dec. 2016 ) = Book Value of Debt + Book Value of Equity - Cash = Long-Term Debt + Short-Term Debt + Minority Interest + Total Equity - Cash = 1840.946 + 406.106 + 107.833 + 1797.935 - 274.146 = 3878.674

 Invested Capital (Q: Mar. 2017 ) = Book Value of Debt + Book Value of Equity - Cash = Long-Term Debt + Short-Term Debt + Minority Interest + Total Equity - Cash = 1847.717 + 441.624 + 0 + 1916.523 - 238.801 = 3967.063

Note: The Operating Income data used here is four times the quarterly (Mar. 2017) operating income data.

* All numbers are in millions except for per share data and ratio. All numbers are in their local exchange's currency.

Explanation

Return on Invested Capital measures how well a company generates cash flow relative to the capital it has invested in its business. It is also called Return on Capital. The reason book values of debt and equity are used is because the book values are the capital the company received when issuing the debt or receiving the equity investments.

There are four key components to this definition. The first is the use of operating income rather than net income in the numerator. The second is the tax adjustment to this operating income, computed as a hypothetical tax based on an effective or marginal tax rate. The third is the use of book values for invested capital, rather than market values. The final is the timing difference; the capital invested is from the end of the prior year whereas the operating income is the current years number.

Why is Return on Capital important?

Because it costs money to raise capital. A firm that generates higher returns on investment than it costs the company to raise the capital needed for that investment is earning excess returns. A firm that expects to continue generating positive excess returns on new investments in the future will see its value increase as growth increases, whereas a firm that earns returns that do not match up to its cost of capital will destroy value as it grows.

As of today, W.W. Grainger Inc's weighted average cost Of capital is 5.29%. W.W. Grainger Inc's return on invested capital is 16.89% (calculated using TTM income statement data). W.W. Grainger Inc generates higher returns on investment than it costs the company to raise the capital needed for that investment. It is earning excess returns. A firm that expects to continue generating positive excess returns on new investments in the future will see its value increase as growth increases.

Be Aware

Like ROE and ROA, ROC is calculated with only 12 months of data. Fluctuations in the companys earnings or business cycles can affect the ratio drastically. It is important to look at the ratio from a long term perspective.

Related Terms

Historical Data

* All numbers are in millions except for per share data and ratio. All numbers are in their local exchange's currency.

W.W. Grainger Inc Annual Data

 Dec07 Dec08 Dec09 Dec10 Dec11 Dec12 Dec13 Dec14 Dec15 Dec16 ROIC 21.18 22.68 18.17 21.74 24.83 23.05 24.40 23.50 21.50 17.53

W.W. Grainger Inc Quarterly Data

 Dec14 Mar15 Jun15 Sep15 Dec15 Mar16 Jun16 Sep16 Dec16 Mar17 ROIC 17.21 24.26 25.32 21.83 15.88 19.85 18.51 20.39 8.16 20.35
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