The return on assets can be calculated by:
Net income divided by Total assets
This ratio will tell investors how effective is a company in investing its money. The greater the value the better. Do note that a company should also compare the return on asset metric with the peers in the same industry. The company with a greater return on asset as compared to another will grow faster than the other.
Study the return on equity with the return on total assets
If the return on equity and the return on total assets of a company are consistently higher than its peers, that may mean that it enjoys some form of competitive advantage and it is creating value for its shareholders at a faster rate than its peers.