Stock turnover

Stock turnover, also known as inventory turnover, is a financial metric that measures how many times a company’s inventory is sold and replaced over a specific period.
Updated: Jun 6, 2024

3 key takeaways

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  • Stock turnover measures the efficiency of a company in managing and selling its inventory.
  • A higher stock turnover ratio indicates efficient inventory management and strong sales performance.
  • The metric is crucial for businesses to optimize inventory levels and improve cash flow.

What is stock turnover?

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Stock turnover, or inventory turnover, is a key performance indicator that evaluates how often a company’s inventory is sold and replenished within a particular period, usually a year. This metric helps businesses understand how effectively they are managing their stock levels and how quickly their products are moving through the supply chain. A high stock turnover rate typically signifies efficient inventory management and strong sales, while a low turnover rate may indicate overstocking or weak sales.

Calculating stock turnover

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The stock turnover ratio can be calculated using the following formula:

Stock Turnover Ratio = Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) \ Average Inventory


  • Cost of Goods Sold (COGS): The total cost of producing or purchasing the goods that were sold during the period.
  • Average Inventory: The average value of inventory held during the period, calculated as the sum of beginning and ending inventory divided by two.

Importance of stock turnover

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Stock turnover is an important metric for several reasons:

  • Efficiency: It indicates how effectively a company manages its inventory, ensuring that stock levels are aligned with sales demand.
  • Cash flow: Higher stock turnover means faster conversion of inventory into cash, improving the company’s cash flow and financial health.
  • Cost management: Efficient inventory turnover helps reduce holding costs, such as storage, insurance, and obsolescence costs.

Factors affecting stock turnover

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Several factors can influence a company’s stock turnover ratio:

  • Industry type: Different industries have varying stock turnover norms. For example, perishable goods industries like food and beverages typically have higher turnover rates than durable goods industries like furniture or electronics.
  • Product demand: High demand for products generally leads to higher stock turnover, while low demand results in slower inventory movement.
  • Inventory management practices: Efficient practices, such as just-in-time (JIT) inventory systems, can enhance stock turnover by reducing excess inventory and aligning stock levels with actual demand.
  • Sales strategies: Promotions, discounts, and effective marketing can boost sales and improve stock turnover.

Improving stock turnover

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Businesses can take several steps to improve their stock turnover ratio:

  • Optimize inventory levels: Implementing inventory management systems and practices like JIT can help maintain optimal stock levels and reduce excess inventory.
  • Enhance demand forecasting: Using advanced forecasting techniques to predict demand accurately can ensure that inventory levels are aligned with market needs.
  • Streamline supply chain: Improving supply chain efficiency can reduce lead times and ensure timely replenishment of inventory.
  • Increase sales efforts: Boosting marketing and sales efforts, including promotions and discounts, can help accelerate inventory turnover.

Understanding and optimizing stock turnover is essential for businesses to ensure efficient inventory management, enhance cash flow, and reduce costs. By monitoring this metric and implementing effective strategies, companies can improve their operational performance and financial stability.

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AI Financial Assistant
Arti is a specialized AI Financial Assistant at Invezz, created to support the editorial team. He leverages both AI and the knowledge base, understands over 100,000... read more.