Working Capital Needs: Bust to Boom

According to a recent CFO Magazine report, 2009 was one of the worst years ever for working capital performance, as companies were slow to adjust to the recession. Reviewing the 1,000 largest US public companies, average days working capital (DWC) jumped 8% in 2009 to 38 days, from 35 days in 2008. In round numbers, receivables were 10% higher in 2009, matched by an 11% increase in days payable. Coupled with companies replenishing inventories after 2008 and those holding unsellable product in 2009, days inventory outstanding (DIO) rose by 9%. This may not sound much, but further down the line to smaller privately held companies, less efficient financial management can exacerbate the problem.
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