A company's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization is computed by considering a company's earnings before interest payments, tax, depreciation, and amortization are subtracted for any final accounting of its income and expenses. The EBITDA of a business gives an indication of its current operational profitability, i.e., how much profit it makes with its present assets and its operations on the products it produces and sells.
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EBITDA - Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization
What is 'EBITDA - Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization'
EBITDA stands for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. EBITDA is one indicator of a company's financial performance and is used as a proxy for the earning potential of a business, although doing so has its drawbacks. Further, EBITDA strips out the cost of debt capital and its tax effects by adding back interest and taxes to earnings.
Explaining 'EBITDA - Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization'
Example of EBITDA
A retail company generates $100 million in revenue and incurs $40 million in product cost and $20 million in operating expenses. Depreciation and amortization expense amounts to $10 million, yielding an operating profit of $30 million. The interest expense is $5 million, leading to earnings before taxes of $25 million. With a 20% tax rate, net income equals $20 million after $5 million in taxes are subtracted from pretax income. Using the EBITDA formula, we add operating profit to depreciation and amortization expense to get EBITDA of $40 million ($30 million + $10 million).
The Drawbacks of EBITDA
EBITDA is a non-GAAP measure that allows a greater amount of discretion as to what is and what is not included in the calculation. This also means that companies often change the items included in their EBITDA calculation from one reporting period to the next.
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