Interest Coverage Ratio: What It Tells Investors

As a lender, coverage ratios are a leading indicator of whether or not an entity can meet its current financial obligations. With an interest coverage ratio of 0.94, it’s unlikely XYZ Shipping will get the financing it’s looking for. Perhaps more common is when a company has a high degree of operating leverage.

A 3.75 interest coverage ratio means Jerome’s bacon business is making 3.75 times more earnings than his current interest payments. That means he will be able to pay the interest and principal payments on his current debt without difficulty. It also means there is a good chance the bank will approve his loan because his ratio shows his business is low-risk and making enough money to cover its payables.

What’s the Difference Between the Interest Coverage Ratio and the EBITDA to Enterprise Value (EV) Ratio?

Since equity finance tends to be more expensive than debt, the company may not be taking full advantage of the opportunity to maximize earnings, growth and competitive advantage through leverage. Consequently, the lower the interest cover, the higher is the return required by shareholders to outweigh the financial risk. If the borrowings are secured by any assets, then the debt holders are likely to force the company to realize assets to pay their interest if funds are not available from other sources.

What Is A Good Interest Coverage Ratio?

First, the metric is only a snapshot in time and does not necessarily reflect a company’s long-term ability to repay debt. Additionally, ICR does not take into account a company’s capital structure, which can affect its ability to repay debt. If a company’s debt consists solely of interest-only loans, there is no reason to calculate a DSCR. Based on the new and existing loans, ABC Shipping pays out $5 million per quarter in principal and interest payments.

Formula and Calculation of the Interest Coverage Ratio

The interest coverage ratio (ICR) is a measure of a company’s ability to pay interest on its debt. The ratio is calculated by dividing a company’s earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) by its interest expenses. The higher the ratio, the better the company’s ability to pay its interest expenses. If a company’s debt consists of loans that require both principal and interest payments, a DSCR will need to be calculated.

For more insights on important financial ratios, check out our complete article on Ratio Analysis. An interest coverage ratio above 2 is acceptable and an interest coverage ratio of less than 1.5 may be considered questionable. The lower the ratio, the more the company is burdened with interest expenses. Investors and analysts often use this ratio to reflect how safe a company is and how much of a decline in earnings can a company absorb. If you had a crystal ball and could see only one ratio in the foreseeable future of a company – the interest coverage ratio may not be a bad one to pick.

Times interest earned

Similarly, both shareholders and investors can also use this ratio to make decisions about their investments. Most investors may not want to put their money into a company that isn’t financially sound. This result means that the business in question can cover its interest expenses nearly 12 times over, leaving more than enough in What Is A Good Interest Coverage Ratio? cash to cover other obligations. If your company has no debt requiring an interest payment, the cash coverage ratio is not useful. However, for those of you carrying debt with interest expense, it can be extremely useful. Calculating the interest coverage ratio is simple, and its interpretation is essential to financial analysis.

It means that after you’ve paid off taxes, you still have enough earnings to cover your debt payments 2.2 times over. A ratio above one indicates that a company can service the interest on its debts using its earnings or has shown the ability to maintain revenues at a fairly consistent level. While an interest coverage ratio of 1.5 may be the minimum acceptable level, two or better is preferred for analysts and investors. For companies with historically more volatile revenues, the interest coverage ratio may not be considered good unless it is well above three. Similar to the cash coverage ratio, the interest coverage ratio measures the ability of a business to pay interest expense on any debt that is carried. All of the information you need to calculate the cash coverage ratio can be found in your income statement.

DSCR and Interest Coverage Ratio as Lender Metrics

Bondholders and investment analysts also examine ICR to see whether a company is likely to be able to continue making the interest payments on its bonds. An ICR of 11 is generally a sign of a company that will have no difficulty paying interest on its debts from profits generated by operations. Calculating the ICR, which is also sometimes called the “times interest earned ratio,” requires two numbers, both of which are ordinarily available on a company’s income statement. A bad interest coverage ratio means a company is not making enough money to cover its interest payments. This type of company is at risk of defaulting on its loans and is likely to have difficulty securing new financing. If the ratio returns a number lower than 1, it means it means the business isn’t earning enough cash to cover its interest payments, let alone its principal payments.

  • Although it may be possible for companies that have difficulties servicing their debt to stay in business, a low or negative interest coverage ratio is usually a major red flag for investors.
  • An interest coverage ratio that is too high may suggest that a company is not borrowing enough.
  • Then calculate the number of times the expense can be paid with your annual pre-tax income.
  • Getting your coverage ratio as high as possible will yield you the best results when it comes to appealing to potential lenders or investors.
  • A high ratio indicates that a company can pay for its interest expense several times over, while a low ratio is a strong indicator that a company may default on its loan payments.

The interest coverage ratio measures a company’s ability to pay its debt. The EBITDA to EV ratio measures a company’s ability to pay its debt and its ability to create value for its shareholders. We use this insight and information in debt contract covenants to construct an index of corporate vulnerability based on the fraction of debt held by firms with ICRs below their relevant distress thresholds.

Example of the Interest Coverage Ratio

Some descriptive statistics of loan covenant thresholds for ICRs by industry are displayed in Table 2. There is large cross-industry variation in ICR thresholds for loans in different industries. As a business owner, keeping track of your coverage ratios, over time, is important. It will help you understand if you’re in a position to expand your business, or if financial problems are in the foreseeable future. With a DSCR of 2.55, it can pay off debt obligations for 2.55 quarters with its current net operating income. The use of earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) also has its shortcomings, because companies do pay taxes.

  • For instance, while an ICR of 3 can be a level of concern for a particular firm, the same level could be very adequate for another firm.
  • In most cases, people turn to banks for a loan to get their business up and running (or keep them going when the market shifts).
  • It is calculated by dividing a company’s cash flow from operations by its debt payments.
  • Lenders may use a company’s ICR when deciding whether to approve a loan request.
  • Other industries, such as manufacturing, are much more volatile and may often have a higher minimum acceptable interest coverage ratio of three or higher.

In contrast, a low-interest coverage ratio may indicate that a company struggles to pay its interest expenses and may be at risk of defaulting on its debt. Companies with high ICR have a lower risk of default and are in a better financial position to repay their debts. In contrast, companies with low ICR are at a higher risk of default and may face difficulties repaying their debt obligations.

Interest Coverage Ratios: All You Need to Know

This type of company is extremely risky and unlikely to secure bank financing. The formula to calculate the interest coverage ratio involves dividing a company’s operating cash flow metric – as mentioned earlier – by the interest expense burden. The higher the ratio, the easier it is for you to pay off your current debts. For instance, if you had a ratio of 5, it would mean your EBIT is enough to cover your interest payments 5 times over.

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