Investing Answers Building and Protecting Your Wealth through Education Publisher of The Next Banks That Could Fail
Investing Answers Building and Protecting Your Wealth through Education Publisher of The Next Banks That Could Fail

Net Debt

What it is:

Net debt is a company's total debt less cash on hand.

How it works (Example):

The formula for net debt is:

Net Debt = Short-Term Debt + Long-Term Debt - Cash and Cash Equivalents

For example, let's assume that Company XYZ has $10,000,000 in short-term debt, $4,000,000 in long-term debt, and $1,000,000 in cash and cash equivalents. According to the formula, Company XYZ's net debt is:

Net Debt = $10,000,000 + $4,000,000 - $1,000,000 = $13,000,000

Why it Matters:

Net debt is a measure of a company's ability to repay its debts if they were all due today. Thus, it helps analysts and investors get a better feel for whether a company is over- or underleveraged -- that is, whether a company can "afford" its debt. Companies with large amounts of debt but also large cash positions are generally in better positions to weather adverse changes in the economic landscape, like interest rate fluctuations, recessions, etc.

To learn more about evaluating companies' debt loads, click here to read, The One Key Financial Statistic You Must Know.

Related Terms View All
  • Marital Property
    Let's say John Doe and Jane Smith get married. On the day of the wedding, John owns a...
  • Incorporation
    Corporations have several distinguishing characteristics. A corporation is owned by...
  • Icahn Lift
    Carl Icahn was a corporate "raider" in the 1980s and made millions buying and selling...
  • Paid-Up
    Let's say John Doe takes out a car loan to purchase a 1985 Camaro. The loan requires 60...
  • Interchange Rate
    An interchange is an electronic transfer of information. In the business world, this...