EBIT stands for Earnings Before Interest and Taxes and is one of the last subtotals in the income statement before net income. Operating earnings, operating profit, and profit before interest and taxes are other names for EBIT.

This measurement shows investors how much money a company makes without accounting for things like interest payments and taxes. Thus, it provides investors with information about the operating performance of a company and its ability to generate profits over time, as it deducts all operating expenses from sales revenue.

If a business executive wants to know whether a company is profitable from its core business operations, EBIT is probably the best way to go.

EBIT vs. EBITDA: What is the difference?

The difference between Earnings Before Interest and Taxes (EBIT) and Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA) can sometimes be confusing.

Although both measurements are used by investors to assess a company’s financial health and exclude certain costs, they each offer different insights into a company’s profitability.

Investors care about this distinction primarily because EBITDA, which excludes non-cash charges (depreciation and intangible assets amortization costs), is frequently preferred as a profitability metric for businesses with significant fixed asset investments financed with debt. This indicator, however, may provide an inaccurate impression of a company’s overall financial health.

EBIT, on the other hand, is calculated using accounting rules that may not necessarily represent reality, as it includes non-cash charges, which can offer a misleading view of the company’s resilience to a drop in sales.

However, EBIT tends to be a better indicator of operational performance as it indicates more accurately the profitability from operations, which is usually similar to operating income.

Why do investors use EBIT?

With the costs of the capital structure and tax expenses removed, EBIT is used to assess the performance of a company’s core operations and make informed strategic decisions.

However, aside from its clear utility as a profitability measure, this metric is commonly used by investors for the following reasons:

  1. Since net income, interest, and taxes are usually broken out, calculating it using the income statement is rather straightforward.
  2. It facilitates comparisons between companies.
  3. Several financial ratios used in fundamental analyses include it as a primary source. For example, the EBIT/EV multiple compares a company’s earnings to its enterprise value, and the interest coverage ratio divides EBIT by interest expense.


Further reading

Gain complete visibility with a 360° view of your business

Get a demo