## What is the Interest Coverage Ratio?

The term “interest coverage ratio” (ICR) refers to the financial ratio that assesses the capability of a business to pay off its financial costs by using its operating profit. In other words, it measures how well a company is able to cover the interest payment on its debt. Please note that calculation does not include principal repayment obligations.

**Formula**

The formula can be expressed as operating profit or earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) divided by the interest expense. Mathematically, it is represented as,

**Interest Coverage Ratio = EBIT / Interest Expense**

**Examples of Interest Coverage Ratio (With Excel Template)**

Let’s take an example to understand the calculation in a better manner.

#### Example #1

**Let us take the example of a manufacturing company to illustrate the computation of the (ICR). The company achieved revenue of $35.5 million during 2018, while it incurred the raw material cost and direct labor cost of $12.2 million and $5.5 million respectively. The rental expense, depreciation, and salaries for the period are $0.7 million, $1.5 million and $3.7 million respectively. Calculate the interest coverage ratio of the company if its interest expense for the year was $2.2 million.**

**Solution:**

COGS is calculated using the formula given below

**COGS = Raw Material Cost + Direct Labor Cost**

- COGS = $12.2 million + $5.5 million
- COGS =
**$17.7 million**

Operating Expenses is calculated using the formula given below

**Operating Expenses = Rental Expense + Depreciation + Salaries**

- Operating Expenses = $0.7 million + $1.5 million + $3.7 million
- Operating Expenses =
**$5.9 million**

Operating Income (EBIT) is calculated using the formula given below

**EBIT = Revenue – COGS – Operating Expenses**

- Operating Income (EBIT) = $35.5 million – $17.7 million – $5.9 million
- Operating Income (EBIT) =
**$11.9 million**

Interest Coverage Ratio is calculated using the formula given below

**Interest Coverage Ratio = EBIT / Interest Expense**

- = $11.9 million / $2.2 million
- =
**5.4x**

Therefore, the company’s (ICR) for the year 2018 was 5.4x.

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#### Example #2

**Let us now take Apple Inc.’s example to explain the calculation of (ICR). During 2018, Apple Inc. booked $70.90 billion as operating income, while it incurred $3.24 billion as interest expense. Compute Apple Inc.’s interest coverage (ICR) based on the given information.**

**Solution:**

Interest Coverage Ratio is calculated using the formula given below

**Interest Coverage Ratio = EBIT / Interest Expense**

- = $70.90 billion / $3.24billion
- =
**21.88x**

Therefore, Apple Inc.’s (ICR) for the year 2018 was 21.9x.

**Source Link: Apple Inc. Balance Sheet**

#### Example #3

**Now, let us take the example of Walmart Inc. and compute its (ICR). The company recorded operating income of $20.44 billion during 2018. Compute Walmart Inc.’s interest coverage ratio for the year 2018 if the interest expense incurred was $1.98 billion.**

**Solution:**

Interest Coverage Ratio is calculated using the formula given below

**Interest Coverage Ratio = EBIT / Interest Expense**

- = $20.44 billion / $1.98 billion
- =
**10.3x**

Therefore, Walmart Inc.’s (ICR) for the year 2018 was 10.3x.

**Source Link: Walmart Inc. Balance Sheet**

#### Example #4

**Now, let us take the example of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.’s annual report for the year 2018. As per the annual report, the operating profit and financial expenses for the year were $53.52 billion and $7.82 billion respectively. Compute Samsung’s interest coverage ratio for the year 2018.**

**Solution:**

Interest Coverage Ratio is calculated using the formula given below

**Interest Coverage Ratio = EBIT / Interest Expense**

- = $53.52 billion / $7.82 billion
- =
**6.8x**

Therefore, Samsung’s (ICR) for the year 2018 was 6.8x.

**Source Link: Samsung Inc. Balance Sheet**

### Explanation

The formula can be derived by using the following steps:

**Step 1:** Firstly, determine the operating profit booked by the company during the given period, usually a year, which is available as a separate line item in the income statement. If not, then EBIT can be computed by subtracting the cost of goods sold (COGS) and operating expenses from revenue.

**EBIT = Revenue – COGS – Operating expenses**

**Step 2:** Next, determine the interest expense incurred by the company on its debt during the given period. It is either available as interest expense or financial cost in the income statement.

**Step 3: **Finally, the formula for (ICR) can be derived by dividing the operating profit (step 1) by the interest expense (step 2) as shown below.

**ICR = EBIT / Interest Expense**

### Relevance and Use of Interest Coverage Ratio

The concept of (ICR) is very important as it is used to assess a company’s capability to pay its interest obligations. A higher value (more than 2.0x) indicates that the company can comfortably meet its interest expenses. On the other hand, a lower value (less than 1.0x) of (ICR) indicates that the company is not generating adequate operating profit to meet interest payments, which exposes it to the risk of bankruptcy.

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