Interest Coverage Ratio Calculator

One of the most important metrics is what’s known as the interest coverage ratio. Even though the company is generating a positive cash flow, it looks riskier from a debt perspective once debt-service coverage is taken into account. Registration granted by SEBI, membership of BASL (in case of IAs) and certification from NISM in no way guarantee performance of the intermediary or provide any assurance of returns to investors.

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. Calculating the interest coverage ratio is simple, and its interpretation is essential to financial analysis.

Therefore, the higher the number of “turns” for an interest coverage ratio, the more coverage (and reduced risk), because there is more “cushion” in case the company underperforms. The more debt principal that a company has on its balance sheet, the more interest expense the company will owe to its lenders — all else being equal. Two somewhat common variations of the interest coverage ratio are important to consider before studying the ratios of companies.

  • The interest coverage ratio measures a company’s ability to handle its outstanding debt.
  • An interest coverage ratio explains a company’s ability to earn profits to make interest payments on its borrowings.
  • The trend of coverage ratios over time is also studied by analysts and investors to ascertain the change in a company’s financial position.
  • For example, a company with $4 million in debt and $12 million in shareholders’ equity would have a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.333, or 33.3 percent.

The simple way to calculate a company’s interest coverage ratio is by dividing its EBIT (the earnings before interest and taxes) by the total interest owed on all of its debts. A company with very large current earnings beyond the amount required to make interest payments on its debt has a larger financial cushion against a temporary downturn in revenues. A company barely able to meet its interest obligations with current earnings is in a very precarious financial position, as even a slight, temporary dip in revenue may render it financially insolvent. For example, during the recession of 2008, car sales dropped substantially, hurting the auto manufacturing industry.

But, in this interest coverage ratio example, we will calculate using EBITDA in the numerator instead of EBIT. Interest expense is the money paid by the company to the lenders on borrowings. Hence this ratio will be relevant only in the case of the companies having borrowings as part of their business. If the interest coverage ratio is decreasing, the company may be on a slide to insolvency.

Increased Risk

Bankrate does not offer advisory or brokerage services, nor does it provide individualized recommendations or personalized investment advice. Investment decisions should be based on an evaluation of your own personal financial situation, needs, risk tolerance and investment objectives. A high-interest coverage ratio indicates that a company has a strong ability to pay its interest expenses. 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. Imagine that Company A has an EBIT of £40,000 and total interest expenses of £15,000.

Higher ratios are better for companies and industries that are susceptible to volatility. But lower coverage ratios are often suitable for companies that fall in certain industries, including those that are heavily regulated. For instance, it’s not useful to compare a utility company (which normally has a low coverage ratio) with a retail store.

Coverage Ratio Definition, Types, Formulas, Examples

The interest coverage ratio, sometimes referred to as the “times interest earned” ratio, is used to determine a company’s ability to pay interest on its outstanding debt. Essentially, the ratio measures how many times a business can cover its current interest payments using its available earnings. This helps you understand your margin of safety for paying interest on debt over a given period. Most of the time, creditors, investors, and lenders use the interest coverage ratio formula to judge the risk of lending capital to a business. The debt service coverage ratio (DSCR) evaluates a company’s ability to use its operating income to repay its debt obligations including interest. The DSCR is often calculated when a company takes a loan from a bank, financial institution, or another loan provider.


By monitoring the interest coverage ratio, companies can improve their financial performance and maximize their debt repayment ability. The interest coverage ratio is essential for understanding and assessing a company’s financial stability. In this example, the interest coverage ratio provides valuable information to the lender about the company’s ability to pay its interest expenses and its potential for loan repayment. It is a simple measure that can evaluate a company’s financial stability and creditworthiness. Over time, the interest coverage ratio has become a staple of financial analysis.

Investment Analysis

On the other hand, industries with fluctuating sales, like technology, manufacturing, etc., manifest a higher IRC ratio. Consequently, the ‘good interest coverage ratio’ for both such sectors will be different. Nonetheless, it must be noted that a high EBIT may not be reliable proof of a high ICR. Even though a higher interest coverage ratio is desirable, the ideal ratio tends to vary from one industry to another. Our experts have been helping you master your money for over four decades.

What is interest coverage ratio?

This is one more additional ratio, known as the cash coverage ratio, which is used to compare the company’s cash balance to its annual interest expense. This is a very conservative metric, as it compares only cash on hand (no other assets) to the interest expense the company has relative to its debt. Times interest earned or ICR is a measure of a company’s ability to honor its debt payments. While the ICR is a robust metric to determine creditworthiness and short-term financial health, there are a few limitations that must be kept in mind.

The ratio measures the times a company’s operating income covers its interest expenses. On the other hand, a “bad” interest coverage ratio is any number less than one, because this means that your business’s earnings aren’t sufficiently high enough to service your outstanding debt. 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. In many cases, it indicates that the firm is at risk of bankruptcy in the future. The interest coverage ratio is a financial ratio used as an indicator of a company’s ability to pay the interest 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. When it comes to risk management, the interest coverage ratio can be an essential tool for understanding whether your business’s revenues are high enough to pay the interest on your debt obligations.

Ask Any Financial Question

The Interest Coverage Ratio is a financial metric used to assess a company’s ability to meet its interest payment obligations. It provides insights into the company’s capacity to cover its interest expenses using its operating earnings. The interest coverage ratio is sometimes called the times interest earned (TIE) ratio. Lenders, investors, self employed accounting software and creditors often use this formula to determine a company’s riskiness relative to its current debt or for future borrowing. A higher debt-to-EBITDA ratio indicates decreased financial stability, all else equal. High levels of debt relative to the company’s cash flow to support that debt could indicate financial stress.

It is widely used to assess a company’s ability to pay its interest expenses and predict its potential for growth and financial stability. The concept of the interest coverage ratio can be traced back to the early 20th century when the need for a more comprehensive evaluation of a company’s financial health became increasingly important. As companies grew and took on more debt, the ability to pay the interest on that debt became a crucial factor in determining the company’s financial stability. The goal of the interest coverage ratio is to determine if a company is generating enough operating income to meet its interest expenses.


Add comment: