Times Interest Earned
What it is:
The times interest earned, also known as interest, is a measure of how well a company can meet its interest-payment obligations.
The formula for times interest earned is:
Before Interest and Taxes/ Interest Expense
How it works (Example):
Here is some information about Company XYZ:
Net Income $350,000
Interest Expense ($400,000)
Using the formula and the information above, we can calculate that XYZ’s times interest earned is:
This means that XYZ Company is able to meet its interest payments two times over.
Why it Matters:
In general, a low times interest earned ratio suggests a company is overleveraged, while a high times interest earned ratio may suggest a company is “too safe” and is neglecting opportunities to magnify leverage. A times interest earned ratio below 1.0 indicates that a company is not able to meet its interest obligations.through
Because a company’s failure to meet interest payments usually results in default, times interest earned is of particular interest to and and acts as a . However, because times interest earned is based on current earnings and current expenses, it primarily focuses a company’s short-term ability to meet interest obligations.
Some industries tend to have higher times interest earned than others, and cyclical companies in particular can experience significant swings in their times interest earned (especially during recessions). Thus, comparison of times interest earned is generally most meaningful among companies within the same industry, and the definition of a "high" or "low" ratio should be made within this context.