Invested Capital

The total value of a company's stock and debt capital raised, including capital leases

Author: Matthew Retzloff
Matthew Retzloff
Matthew Retzloff
Investment Banking | Corporate Development

Matthew started his finance career working as an investment banking analyst for Falcon Capital Partners, a healthcare IT boutique, before moving on to work for Raymond James Financial, Inc in their specialty finance coverage group in Atlanta. Matthew then started in a role in corporate development at Babcock & Wilcox before moving to a corporate development associate role with Caesars Entertainment Corporation where he currently is. Matthew provides support to Caesars' M&A processes including evaluating inbound teasers/CIMs to identify possible acquisition targets, due diligence, constructing financial models, corporate valuation, and interacting with potential acquisition targets.

Matthew has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in German from University of North Carolina.

Reviewed By: Adin Lykken
Adin Lykken
Adin Lykken
Consulting | Private Equity

Currently, Adin is an associate at Berkshire Partners, an $16B middle-market private equity fund. Prior to joining Berkshire Partners, Adin worked for just over three years at The Boston Consulting Group as an associate and consultant and previously interned for the Federal Reserve Board and the U.S. Senate.

Adin graduated from Yale University, Magna Cum Claude, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics.

Last Updated:August 30, 2023

What Is Invested Capital?

Invested capital is the total value of a company's stock and debt capital raised, including capital leases. The weighted average cost of capital of a corporation determines how much it costs to retain the capital invested.

A company's return on the capital invested must surpass the cost of that capital for the company to sustain itself in the long run. The entire amount of money a corporation raises by issuing securities to equity shareholders and debt to bondholders is referred to as the capital invested.

It is not a line item on the company's financial statements because debt, capital leases, and stockholders' equity are all recorded separately on the balance sheet. 

Return on the invested capital (ROIC) assesses how well a company uses its capital to produce profits.

The capital invested in a firm over its existence by shareholders, bondholders, lenders is referred to as the capital invested

In addition, non-cash assets, such as the value of a building donated by a shareholder in return for shares, might be included.

It is regarded as a financial analysis rather than an accounting concept.

Key Takeaways

  • Invested capital includes stock, debt, and capital leases raised by a company. ROIC measures how effectively this capital generates profits.
  • To sustain itself, a company's return on invested capital must exceed its cost of capital.
  • There are two ways to calculate ROIC: operational and financial approaches.
  • Capital invested serves two purposes: acquiring assets and funding daily expenses.
  • ROIC is a crucial KPI for attracting investors and assessing a company's profitability.

How is Invested Capital Calculated?

There are two approaches to calculating the ROIC: 

A) Operational Approach

The operational approach removes non-interest-bearing current liabilities from current operating assets to calculate net working capital.

B) Financial Approach

In the financial method, the company's short-term debt, long-term debt, and uncapitalized lease commitments are put together.

Common stock; earnings; any inadequate debt reserves; and other capitalized costs, such as marketing and R&D, are then added to the total debt and leases. 

Finally, the final value of the capital invested is calculated by subtracting marketable securities from this value. The following is the formula:

Total Debt + Lease + Total Equity - Non-operating Cash and Investments = Invested Capital

For example, The total capitalization of IBM is the amount of debt issued, including capital leases, plus stock sold to investors. For example, assume IBM issues 5,000 shares of $20 par value stock for $40 per share.

IBM's capitalization rises by $10,000 due to the issuance of additional stock and debt. The capital invested may calculate a company's return on investment, value addition, and return on capital. 

To see the numbers:

  1. Select 'Separation of Operations and Finance' as the layout in the 'Balance Sheet' view. 
  2. The Balance Sheet will then include 'Total Invested Capital,' 'Total Operating Assets,' 'Total Operating Liabilities,' and 'Total Non-Current Liabilities.'

Examples of Invested Capital

Now that we understand the two approaches — the operational approach and the financial approach — for calculating invested capital, let's explore some examples:

A) Worked Example of the Operating Approach

The formula may be determined using the operational approach as follows:

Step 1: Determine the company's net working capital (NWC) requirements, the sum of inventory, and accounts receivable fewer trade payments.

Step 2: Next, determine the company's net fixed assets, defined as gross fixed assets less cumulative depreciation.

Step 3: Next, determine the net tangible assets, the gross tangible assets minus accumulated amortization.

Step 4: Finally, the formula for the capital invested may be derived by combining net working capital, net fixed assets, and net intangible assets, as shown below:

Invested Capital = Net Working Capital + Net Fixed Assets + Net Intangible Assets

B) Worked Example of the Financing Approach

The finance approach is used to calculate the formula for the capital invested by conducting the following steps:

Step 1: Determine the total short-term debt of the subject firm, which comprises short-term borrowings, revolving facilities, and the current portion of long-term debt.

Step 2: Next, determine the entire long-term debt of the firm, which will include term loans, debt securities, senior notes, and so on.

Step 3: Next, total lease obligations are calculated, combining the present value of all future lease payments.

Step 4: Next, compute the total equity of the corporation, which is the sum of common stock, reserve and surplus, extra paid-in capital, and so on.

Step 5: Next, calculate non-operating cash and investment, the sum of money earned through financing and investing operations.

Step 6: Finally, the formula for the capital invested may be calculated by adding:

  • Total short-term debt (step 1)
  • Total long-term debt (step 2)
  • Total lease obligations (step 3)
  • Total equity (step 4) 

Lastly, minus cash and investments not required for operations (step 5), as shown below:

 Invested Capital= Total Short-Term Debt + Total Long-Term Debt + Total Lease Obligations + Total Equity + Non-Operating Cash & Investments

Relevance and Applications of invested capital

The capital invested is a source of cash for a firm that allows it to pursue new opportunities, such as expansion. Within a company, it serves two purposes:

1. It purchases tangible assets such as a building, land, or equipment

2. Fund its ordinary daily running expenditures, such as personnel salaries and inventories

If a firm does not qualify for a big bank loan with a low-interest rate, it may elect to get finance through shares and bonds. An investor will use this ratio to assess the worth of a firm.

For starters, it is used to acquire fixed assets like land, buildings, or equipment and to pay day-to-day running expenditures.

As a firm distributes its shares, it is under no obligation to pay dividends, making it a low-cost source of capital compared to paying interest on a bank loan. If a firm does not qualify for a big bank loan with a low-interest rate, it may elect to get finance through shares and bonds.

For example, a company may require capital expenditure to replace outdated equipment. New equipment would increase worker productivity and uniformity, resulting in a higher-quality product for customers. This is only one example of a capital investment need.

Investors do not give money because they are generous. Instead, they look into the firm strategy, the business model, and the individuals in charge of the operation to see if the money is worth it. 

Investors consider the operational capital necessary and the long-term demand for running equipment and machinery. Investment capital can fund any of these components, although it is less usually utilized to fund operating capital.

The capital invested on a company's balance sheet is not recorded as a separate line item. Instead, the capital invested that is presented must be calculated using other data from a company's financial records. 

Return on Invested Capital (ROIC)

The ROIC measures how efficiently a company uses its invested capital to generate profits. 

When a company's ROIC is compared to its weighted average cost of capital, it is evident whether the money spent is being used effectively. It indicates how well a company has utilized its capital to generate profitable returns.

When the ROIC of a corporation is compared to its weighted average cost of capital, it is obvious whether the capital invested is being employed productively.

The ROIC is a critical KPI for organizations looking to obtain cash from outside investors since it can serve as "evidence" that management is competent. 

ROIC is typically represented as a percentage and is commonly annualized or trailing 12-month numbers.

How do firms pay dividends through return on investment? A successful corporation maximizes the rate of return on capital invested, and investors pay close attention to how firms employ the proceeds from stock and debt issuance.

Assume, for example, that a steel business issues $80,000 in extra stock and utilizes the money to purchase new trucks and equipment. If the steel firm can use the additional assets to conduct more residential work, it will increase its earnings and be able to pay a dividend to shareholders.

The ROIC computation starts with operating income and then adds net other income at EBIT.

NOPAT is calculated by adding back interest expenses and subtracting income taxes.

Target's capital is invested in:

  • Shareholder stock
  • Long-term debt
  • Operating lease obligations

Target calculates the capital invested by subtracting cash and cash equivalents from the total of those values.

Return On Invested Capital = Net Operating Profits After Taxes / Average invested capital

What can ROIC tell you

The ROIC measures how well a firm uses the capital invested to generate profits. 

ROIC is a profitability or performance ratio used to calculate a company's percentage return on invested capital. The ratio illustrates how well a company utilizes its investors' capital to generate profits.

If a corporation made $10 million in earnings and invested an average of $100 million over the last two years, the ROIC is 10%.

Therefore, if the ROIC is 10%, we know that the firm makes $10 in net earnings for every $100 invested in capital.

However, there are certain limitations with the concept of ROIC:

  • ROIC gives context for other measures like the price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio.
  • When seen in isolation, the P/E ratio may indicate that a firm is undervalued, but the fall may be because the company is no longer creating value for shareholders at the same rate (or at all). 
  • On the other hand, companies that continuously earn high rates of ROIC are likely to trade at a premium. 
  • The ROIC premium can assist organizations in demonstrating that they can run profitably.
  • ROIC takes into account the entire company's activity. It may be difficult to tell whether a single section contributes most of the value. Having too much cash on hand affects ROIC unless it is handled. A one-time event that results in a significant gain or loss may influence profitability.
  • A high ROIC indicates that the P/E ratio has the potential to be traded at a higher price, even if it is computed separately and does not show a higher value.

Invested Capital FAQs

Researched and authored by Manal Fatima | LinkedIn

Reviewed and edited by Aditya Salunke I LinkedIn

Free Resources

To continue learning and advancing your career, check out these additional helpful WSO resources: