Interest Coverage Ratios: All You Need to Know

The interest coverage ratio, or times interest earned ratio, is used to determine how well a company can pay the interest on its debts and is calculated by dividing EBIT by a period’s interest expense. Generally, a ratio below 1.5 indicates that a company may not have enough capital to pay interest on its debts. However, interest coverage ratios vary greatly across industries; therefore, it is best to compare ratios of companies within the same industry and with a similar business structure. Overall, the Interest Coverage Ratio is an important financial metric that provides insight into a company’s financial health and its ability to generate profits to cover its interest payments.

Is a lower interest coverage ratio better?

Intuitively, a lower ratio indicates that less operating profits are available to meet interest payments and that the company is more vulnerable to volatile interest rates. Therefore, a higher interest coverage ratio indicates stronger financial health – the company is more capable of meeting interest obligations.

For example, if a company is not borrowing enough, it may not be investing in new products and technologies to stay ahead of the competition in the long term. A higher interest coverage ratio means a company is more poised it is to pay its debts while the opposite is true for lower ratios. The ratio is calculated by dividing EBIT by the company’s interest expense. Calculating the interest coverage ratio with EBITDA will often provide you with a better result, as depreciation and amortization are excluded. One of the main criticisms of this ratio is that by using EBIT, it does not take tax expenses into consideration.

Accounting Newbie?

Instead, it calculates the firm’s ability to afford the interest on the debt. EBITDA is different from EBIT in that it excludes depreciation and amortization from the figure as well. EBITDA has become a popular metric in financial analysis because many people view it as a close approximation to a company’s ability to generate free cash flow. This can be useful in the context of debt analysis, since a company repays banks with cash flow, not with accounting earnings. Items such as depreciation are real economic expenses, but not ones that immediately impact a company’s quarterly cash flows and thus its ability to meet interest payment obligations.

If the interest coverage ratio is at least equal to 1, it means the company is earning just enough to afford its interest. This scenario is as bad as the first one because it means that while the company can pay for interest, it still can’t cover its principal payments. The interest service coverage ratio focuses on the interest expenses of a firm. However, a debt What Is A Good Interest Coverage Ratio? service coverage ratio analyses a firm’s capacity to repay its debt. The interest gearing ratio represents the percentage of the operating profit absorbed by interest charges on borrowings and as a result measures the impact of gearing on profits. Movements in interest rates on regional and national level play a big role in a company’s interest coverage ratio.

Limitations of the Interest Coverage Ratio

Low ICR signals that the company may not be able to meet its interest payment obligations on debt. High ICR means that a company would be able to pay off its interest expense out of earnings multiple times. Many lenders look for companies with an ICR of 3, which is not a lenient figure to expect. However, they are confined to allowing loans to only those entities with an ICR of more than 2 to 3.

  • The findings from the calculation of the interest coverage ratio, make it simpler for creditors and lenders to determine whether or not to trust the finance seekers with a sizeable loan plus interest.
  • 10 Best Corporate Bond Funds in India to Invest in April Corporate bond funds are debt funds that invest at least 80% of the investment corpus in companies …
  • It is a strong tool if you are a fixed income investor considering purchase of a company’s bonds.
  • Specifically, the interest coverage ratio tells you how many times over your earnings can pay off the current interest on your debt.

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