Financial Analysis

Jul 10, 2019

The Formula for Calculating Ebitda (With Examples)

  There are a number of metrics?available?to measure profitability. EBITDA (earnings before?interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) is one indicator of a company&?financial performance?and is used to determine the earning potential of a company. With EBITDA, factors like debt?financing as well as depreciation,?and?amortization?expenses are stripped out when?calculating profitability.

  Ways to Calculate EBITDA

  There are two formulas for calculating EBITDA. The first formula uses?operating income as the starting point, while the second formula uses net income. Both formulas have their benefits and drawbacks. The first formula is below:?

  ?EBITDA&?income&?and?amortization\begin{aligned} &\text{EBITDA}& income} & \text{depreciation and amortization} \end{aligned}?EBITDA&?income&?and?amortization??

  Operating income?is a company& profit?after subtracting?operating expenses?or?the costs of running the daily business. Operating income helps?investors separate out the earnings for the company& operating performance by excluding?interest and taxes.?

  0:25 EBITDA

  EBITDA Example

  Below is?the?income statement?for JC Penney Company?Inc.?(JCP)?as of May 5,?2018.

  Operating income was $3 million,?highlighted in blue.Depreciation was $141 million, but the $3 million in operating income?includes subtracting the $141 million in depreciation. As a result, depreciation?and amortization need?to be added back into the operating income number during the EBITDA calculation.?EBITDA was $144?million?for the period or $141 million & $3 million.

  EBITDA can also be calculated by taking?net income?and adding back?interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, whereby:

  ?EBITDA&?profit&?and?amortization\begin{aligned} &\text{EBITDA}& profit} & \text{interest} & \text{taxes} & \text{depreciation and amortization} \end{aligned}?EBITDA&?profit&?and?amortization??

  Below is the same?income statement?for JC Penney Company?Inc.?(JCP)?from May 05,?2018. However, EBITDA is calculated using the net income formula.?

  Net income posted?a loss of -78 million for the quarter,?highlighted in blue.Depreciation was $141 million, highlighted in red.Net interest expense was?$78 million while the company had?a credit or benefit from?income taxes for?$1 million,?highlighted in green.EBITDA was $140?million?or -$78 million & $141 million?- $1 million & $78 million (net interest). Since income tax?was originally a credit of $1 million, we deducted it back out to calculate EBITDA.

  We can see from the above example?that each EBITDA formula resulted in different profit numbers. The difference between the two EBITDA calculations can occur if companies have one-time adjustments?like a?credit from the sale of equipment or investment profits.?As a result, both EBITDA formulas might?yield slightly different results, and investors should be aware of what components make up the difference.?

  For JC?Penney, the difference lies in the two numbers highlighted below. The pension income of $19 million?and the loss from extinguishment of?debt of $23 million?netted out to the $4 million difference.?As a result, the EBITDA?formulas can yield?different results depending on whether the calculation uses the?net income or the?operating income formula.

  Key Takeaways

  EBITDA can be used to analyze and compare profitability among companies and industries as it eliminates the effects of financing and accounting decisions.?Investors and analysts might want to use?multiple?profit metrics when analyzing the financial performance of a company since EBITDA does have some limitations.

  As stated earlier,?depreciation is not captured in EBITDA and can lead to?distortions for?companies?with a significant?amount of?fixed assets. For?example, oil companies?have sizable?amounts of fixed assets or?property, plant, and equipment. As a result, the depreciation expense would be considerable,?and?with depreciation expenses removed, the?earnings of the company would be inflated using EBITDA.?

  It& important to note that?the calculation of EBITDA is not officially regulated allowing?companies to?massage the?figure to make their company look more profitable.?An unscrupulous company could use one calculation method one year and switch the calculation the?following year?if the second?formula made the company appear more profitable. If the calculation method remains constant from year to year, EBITDA can be a very useful metric for comparing historical performance.


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