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What is EBITDA? Definition and Formula

Learn how to calculate EBITDA, its uses and limitations, and how it compares to other profitability measures

Introduction to EBITDA

What is EBITDA, or Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization? It is a financial metric that measures a company’s profitability by excluding certain expenses that can vary significantly from one company to another.These expenses include interest payments on debt, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.By excluding these items, EBITDA provides a more consistent measure of a company’s operational performance and allows for easier comparison between companies.

How to Calculate EBITDA

Calculating EBITDA is fairly straightforward, as it simply adds certain items to the company’s net income. Here is the formula for calculating EBITDA:EBITDA = Net Income + Interest + Taxes + Depreciation + AmortizationFor example, lets say a company has a net income of $100,000, interest expenses of $20,000, taxes of $30,000, depreciation of $10,000, and amortization of $5,000. The companys EBITDA would be calculated as follows:EBITDA = $100,000 + $20,000 + $30,000 + $10,000 + $5,000 = $165,000

Uses and Limitations of EBITDA

Analysts often use EBITDA as a starting point for valuation methods like the discounted cash flow (DCF) method.It is also a useful tool for comparing profitability. This is because it removes the impact of certain expenses. These expenses can vary significantly from one company to another.However, it’s important to note that EBITDA is not a generally accepted accounting principle. It should be used with caution. Other financial metrics should also be considered to get a full picture of a company’s financial health.For example, while this can give a sense of a company’s operational performance, it does not take into account the impact of financing and capital structure on a company’s profitability.

Comparison to Other Profitability Measures

Investors and analysts often compare EBITDA to other profitability measures like net income and operating income (EBIT).Net income is the company’s total profits, taking into account all expenses, including interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.Operating income, also known as EBIT, is similar to EBITDA but includes the impact of depreciation and amortization.By comparing these different profitability measures, you can get a more complete understanding of a company’s financial performance.For example, if a company’s EBITDA is higher than its net income, it may indicate that the company is benefiting from favorable tax or interest rates.On the other hand, if a company’s EBIT is lower than its, it may suggest that the company is incurring higher levels of depreciation and amortization expenses.


EBITDA is a valuable financial metric. It can be useful for evaluating a company’s profitability. It also helps in comparing the performance of different companies.By understanding how to calculate EBITDA
Philip Meagher
2 min read

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