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Average inventory

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Definition of Average inventory

Average Inventory Image 1

Average inventory

The beginning inventory for a period, plus the amount at the end of
the period, divided by two. It is most commonly used in situations in which just
using the period-end inventory yields highly variable results, due to constant and
large changes in the inventory level.

Related Terms:

Moving average inventory method

An inventory costing methodology that calls for the re-calculation of the average cost of all parts in stock after every purchase.
Therefore, the moving average is the cost of all units subsequent to the latest purchase,
divided by their total cost.

Average-Cost Inventory Method

The inventory cost-flow assumption that assigns the average
cost of beginning inventory and inventory purchases during a period to cost of goods sold and
ending inventory.

Inventory turnover

The ratio of annual sales to average inventory which measures the speed that inventory
is produced and sold. Low turnover is an unhealthy sign, indicating excess stocks and/or poor sales.


The number of times a company sold out and replaced its average stock of goods in a year. The formula is:
(Cost of goods sold) / (average inventory (beginning inventory + ending)/2 )

ABC inventory classification

A method for dividing inventory into classifications,
either by transaction volume or cost. Typically, category A includes that 20% of
inventory involving 60% of all costs or transactions, while category B includes
the next 20% of inventory involving 20% of all costs or transactions, and category
C includes the remaining 60% of inventory involving 20% of all costs or

Arithmetic average (mean) rate of return

Arithmetic mean return.


An arithmetic mean of selected stocks intended to represent the behavior of the market or some
component of it. One good example is the widely quoted Dow Jones Industrial average, which adds the
current prices of the 30 DJIA's stocks, and divides the results by a predetermined number, the divisor.

Average Inventory Image 2

Average accounting return

The average project earnings after taxes and depreciation divided by the average
book value of the investment during its life.

Average (across-day) measures

An estimation of price that uses the average or representative price of a
large number of trades.

Average age of accounts receivable

The weighted-average age of all of the firm's outstanding invoices.

Average Amortization Period

The average useful life of a company's collective amortizable asset base.

Average Collection Period

average number of days necessary to receive cash for the sale of
a company's products. It is calculated by dividing the value of the
accounts receivable by the average daily sales for the period.

Average collection period, or days' receivables

The ratio of accounts receivables to sales, or the total
amount of credit extended per dollar of daily sales (average AR/sales * 365).

Average cost of capital

A firm's required payout to the bondholders and to the stockholders expressed as a
percentage of capital contributed to the firm. average cost of capital is computed by dividing the total
required cost of capital by the total amount of contributed capital.

Average life

Also referred to as the weighted-average life (WAL). The average number of years that each
dollar of unpaid principal due on the mortgage remains outstanding. average life is computed as the weighted average time to the receipt of all future cash flows, using as the weights the dollar amounts of the principal

Average maturity

The average time to maturity of securities held by a mutual fund. Changes in interest rates
have greater impact on funds with longer average life.

Average Propensity to Consume

Ratio of consumption to disposable income. See also marginal propensity to consume.

Average Propensity to Save

Ratio of saving to disposable income. See also marginal propensity to save.

Average rate of return (ARR)

The ratio of the average cash inflow to the amount invested.

Average tax rate

Taxes as a fraction of income; total taxes divided by total taxable income.

average tax rate

Total taxes owed divided by total income.

Blanket inventory lien

A secured loan that gives the lender a lien against all the borrower's inventories.

Book inventory

The amount of money invested in inventory, as per a company’s
accounting records. It is comprised of the beginning inventory balance, plus the
cost of any receipts, less the cost of sold or scrapped inventory. It may be significantly
different from the actual on-hand inventory, if the two are not periodically

Days' sales in inventory ratio

The average number of days' worth of sales that is held in inventory.

Distribution inventory

inventory intended for shipment to customers, usually
comprised of finished goods and service items.

dollar days (of inventory)

a measurement of the value of inventory for the time that inventory is held

Dow Jones industrial average

This is the best known U.S.index of stocks. It contains 30 stocks that trade on
the New York Stock Exchange. The Dow, as it is called, is a barometer of how shares of the largest
U.S.companies are performing. There are thousands of investment indexes around the world for stocks,
bonds, currencies and commodities.

Dow Jones Industrial Average

Index of the investment performance of a portfolio of 30 “blue-chip” stocks.

Ending inventory

The dollar value or unit total of goods on hand at the end of an
accounting period.

Finished goods inventory

Goods that have been completed by the manufacturing
process, or purchased in a complete form, but which have not yet been sold to

Finished goods inventory

Completed inventory items ready for shipment to

First-In, First-Out (FIFO) Inventory Method

The inventory cost-flow assumption that
assigns the earliest inventory acquisition costs to cost of goods sold. The most recent inventory
acquisition costs are assumed to remain in ending inventory.

Fluctuation inventory

Excess inventory kept on hand to provide a buffer against
forecasting errors.

Hedge inventory

Excess inventories kept on hand as a buffer against contingent

In-transit inventory

inventory currently situated between its shipment and delivery

Inactive inventory

Parts with no recent prior or forecasted usage.


For companies: Raw materials, items available for sale or in the process of being made ready for
sale. They can be individually valued by several different means, including cost or current market value, and
collectively by FIFO, LIFO or other techniques. The lower value of alternatives is usually used to preclude
overstating earnings and assets.
For security firms: securities bought and held by a broker or dealer for resale.


Goods bought or manufactured for resale but as yet unsold, comprising raw materials, work-in-progress and finished goods.


The cost of the goods that a company has available for resale.


Goods that a firm stores in anticipation of its later sale or use as an input.


The cost of unsold goods that are held for sale in the ordinary course of business or
that will be used or consumed in the production of goods to be sold.


Those items included categorized as either raw materials, work-inprocess,
or finished goods, and involved in either the creation of products or service
supplies for customers.

Inventory adjustment

A transaction used to adjust the book balance of an inventory
record to the amount actually on hand.

Inventory Days

The number of days it would take to sell the ending balance in inventory at the
average rate of cost of goods sold per day. Calculated by dividing inventory by cost of goods sold
per day, which is cost of goods sold divided by 365.

Inventory diversion

The redirection of parts or finished goods away from their intended

Inventory issue

A transaction used to record the reduction in inventory from a location,
because of its release for processing or transfer to another location.

Inventory loan

A secured short-term loan to purchase inventory. The three basic forms are a blanket
inventory lien, a trust receipt, and field warehousing financing.

Inventory receipt

The arrival of an inventory delivery from a supplier or other
company location.

Inventory returns

inventory returned from a customer for any reason. This receipt
is handled differently from a standard inventory receipt, typically into an inspection
area, from which it may be returned to stock, reworked, or scrapped.

inventory shrinkage

A term describing the loss of products from inventory
due to shoplifting by customers, employee theft, damaged and
spoiled products that are thrown away, and errors in recording the purchase
and sale of products. A business should make a physical count and
inspection of its inventory to determine this loss.

Inventory Shrinkage

A shortfall between inventory based on actual physical counts and inventory
based on book records. This shortfall may be due to such factors as theft, breakage, loss, or
poor recordkeeping.

Inventory turnover

The number of times per year that an entire inventory or a
subset thereof is used.

Inventory Turnover

Ratio of annual sales to inventory, which shows how many times the inventory of a firm is sold and replaced during an accounting period.

inventory turnover ratio

The cost-of-goods-sold expense for a given
period (usually one year) divided by the cost of inventories. The ratio
depends on how long products are held in stock on average before they
are sold. Managers should closely monitor this ratio.

Inventory Turnover Ratio

Provides a measure of how often a company's inventory is sold or
"turned over" during a period. It is calculated by dividing the sales
figure for the period by the book value of the inventory at the end of
the period.

inventory write-down

Refers to making an entry, usually at the close of a
period, to decrease the cost value of the inventories asset account in
order to recognize the lost value of products that cannot be sold at their
normal markups or will be sold below cost. A business compares the
recorded cost of products held in inventory against the sales value of the
products. Based on the lower-of-cost-or-market rule, an entry is made to
record the inventory write-down as an expense.

Just-in-time inventory systems

Systems that schedule materials/inventory to arrive exactly as they are
needed in the production process.

Last-In, First-Out (LIFO) Inventory Method

The inventory cost-flow assumption that assigns the most recent inventory acquisition costs to cost of goods sold. The earliest inventory
acquisition costs are assumed to remain in ending inventory.

Maximum inventory

An inventory item’s budgeted maximum inventory level,
comprising its preset safety stock level and planned lot size.


The value of the products that a retailing or wholesaling company intends to resell for a profit.
In a manufacturing business, inventories would include finished goods, goods in process, raw materials, and parts and components that will go into the end product.

Minimum inventory

An inventory item’s budgeted minimum inventory level.

Moving average

Used in charts and technical analysis, the average of security or commodity prices
constructed in a period as short as a few days or as Long as several years and showing trends for the latest
interval. As each new variable is included in calculating the average, the last variable of the series is deleted.

Moving average

A price average that is adjusted by adding other
parametrically determined prices over some time period.

Moving-averages chart

A financial chart that plots leading and lagging
moving averages for prices or values of an asset.

Net inventory

The current inventory balance, less allocated or reserved items.

Obsolete inventory

Parts not used in any current end product.

Periodic inventory

A physical inventory count taken on a repetitive basis.

Periodic inventory system

An inventory system in which the balance in the inventory account is adjusted for the units sold only at the end of the period.

Perpetual inventory

A system that continually tracks all additions to and deletions
from inventory, resulting in more accurate inventory records and a running total for
the cost of goods sold in each period.

Perpetual inventory

A manual or automated inventory tracking system in which
a new inventory balance is computed continuously whenever new transactions

Perpetual inventory system

An inventory system in which the balance in the inventory account is adjusted for the units sold each time a sale is made.

Physical inventory

A manual count of the on-hand inventory.

Raw materials inventory

The total cost of all component parts currently in stock that
have not yet been used in work-in-process or finished goods production.

Reconciling inventory

The process of comparing book to actual inventory balances,
and adjusting for the difference in the book records.

Seasonal inventory

Very high inventory levels built up in anticipation of large
seasonal sales.

Simple moving average

The mean, calculated at any time over a past period of fixed length.

Surplus inventory

Parts for which the on-hand quantity exceeds forecasted

vendor-managed inventory

a streamlined system of inventory
acquisition and management by which a supplier can
be empowered to monitor EDI inventory levels and provide
its customer company a proposed e-order and subsequent
shipment after electronic acceptance

Vendor-managed inventory

The direct management and ownership of selected
on-site inventory by suppliers.


An inventory valuation method that calculates a weighted average cost per unit for all the goods available for sale.
Multiplying that figure by the total units in ending inventory gives you the inventory’s value.

Weighted average

A method of accounting for inventory.

Weighted average cost of capital

Expected return on a portfolio of all the firm's securities. Used as a hurdle
rate for capital investment.

Weighted average cost of capital

See cost of capital.

weighted-average cost of capital

Weighted means that the proportions of
debt capital and equity capital of a business are used to calculate its
average cost of capital. This key benchmark rate depends on the interest
rate(s) on its debt and the ROE goal established by a business. This is a
return-on-capital rate and can be applied either on a before-tax basis or
an after-tax basis. A business should earn at least its weighted-average
rate on the capital invested in its assets. The weighted-average cost-ofcapital
rate is used as the discount rate to calculate the present value
(PV) of specific investments.

weighted average cost of capital

a composite of the cost of the various sources of funds that comprise a firm’s capital structure; the minimum rate of return that must be earned on new investments so as not to dilute shareholder value

Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC)

The weighted average of the costs of the capital components
(debt, preferred stock, and common stock)

weighted-average cost of capital (WACC)

Expected rate of return on a portfolio of all the firm’s securities, adjusted for tax savings due to interest payments.

Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC)

A weighted average of the component costs of debt, preferred shares, and common equity. Also called the composite cost of capital.

Weighted average coupon

The weighted average of the gross interest rate of the mortgages underlying the
pool as of the pool issue date, with the balance of each mortgage used as the weighting factor.

Weighted average life

See:average life.

Weighted average maturity

The WAM of a MBS is the weighted average of the remaining terms to maturity
of the mortgages underlying the collateral pool at the date of issue, using as the weighting factor the balance
of each of the mortgages as of the issue date.

weighted average method (of process costing)

the method of cost assignment that computes an average cost per
equivalent unit of production for all units completed during
the current period; it combines beginning inventory units
and costs with current production and costs, respectively,
to compute the average

Weighted average portfolio yield

The weighted average of the yield of all the bonds in a portfolio.

Weighted average remaining maturity

The average remaining term of the mortgages underlying a MBS.

Work-in-process inventory

inventory that has been partially converted through the
production process, but for which additional work must be completed before it can
be recorded as finished goods inventory.

FIFO method (of process costing)

the method of cost assignment that computes an average cost per equivalent
unit of production for the current period; keeps beginning
inventory units and costs separate from current period production
and costs

modified FIFO method (of process costing)

the method of cost assignment that uses FIFO to compute a cost per
equivalent unit but, in transferring units from a department,
the costs of the beginning inventory units and the
units started and completed are combined and averaged

Slow-moving item

An inventory item having a slower rate of turnover than the
average turnover for the entire inventory.


Mutual Funds: A measure of trading activity during the previous year, expressed as a percentage of
the average total assets of the fund. A turnover ratio of 25% means that the value of trades represented onefourth
of the assets of the fund. Finance: The number of times a given asset, such as inventory, is replaced
during the accounting period, usually a year. Corporate: The ratio of annual sales to net worth, representing
the extent to which a company can growth without outside capital. Markets: The volume of shares traded as a
percent of total shares listed during a specified period, usually a day or a year. Great Britain: total revenue.







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