The times interest earned ratio, or TIE, can also be called the interest coverage ratio. The result illustrates how many times the company can cover its interest payments with its current income. It is a strong indicator of how constrained or not constrained a company is by its debt.

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A solvency ratio is a key metric used to measure an enterprise’s ability to meet its debt and other obligations. Assume, for example, that XYZ Company has $10 million in 4% debt outstanding and $10 million in common stock. The cost of capital for issuing more debt is an annual interest rate of 6%. The company’s shareholders expect an annual dividend payment of 8% plus growth in the stock price of XYZ. The formula for TIE is calculated as earnings before interest and taxes divided by total interest payable on debt. As measured by the times interest earned ratio, Walmart and Texas Instruments are financially strong, with low credit risk and low probability of a dividend cut or suspension.

Final thoughts on times earned interest ratio

While it is easier said than done, you can improve the interest coverage ratio by improving your revenue. The company will be able to increase its sales which will help boost earnings before interest and taxes. It can be calculated by adding the interest expenses and the tax expenses to the net income of the company. Most companies need to borrow money occasionally to maintain or expand their business.

So, it is very important that a company generating adequatecash flow to make timely principal and interest payments in order to avoid any kind of financial shortcomings. To better understand the TIE ratio, it’s helpful to look at what the TIE ratio means to a business. It measures how easily a company can fulfill its debt obligations.

It is used by both lenders and borrowers in determining a company’s debt capacity. Time interest earned ratio , also known as interest coverage ratio, indicates how well a company can cover its interest payments on a pretax basis. The larger the time interest earned, the more capable the company is at paying the interest on its debt. Debt-equity RatioThe debt to equity ratio is a representation of the company’s capital structure that determines the proportion of external liabilities to the shareholders’ equity.

How to Calculate Times Interest Earned (TIE)

In general, businesses with consistent revenues are better credit risks and likely will borrow more because they can. They won’t have to seek other ways to fund their company because banks are willing to lend to them. The times interest earned ratio is not necessary for every business. If you’re a small business with a limited amount of debt, the times interest earned ratio will likely not provide any new insight into your business operations. Advisory services provided by Carbon Collective Investment LLC (“Carbon Collective”), an SEC-registered investment adviser.


Here, Company A is depicting an upside scenario where the operating profit is increasing while interest expense remains constant (i.e. straight-lined) throughout the projection period. While there aren’t necessarily strict parameters that apply to all companies, a TIE ratio above 2.0x is considered to be the minimum acceptable range, with 3.0x+ being preferred. As a general rule of thumb, the higher the TIE ratio, the better off the company is from a risk standpoint. Get your free copy of our special report analyzing the tech stocks most likely to outperform the market. The slowdown has hit some industries harder than others, including companies belonging to struggling industries like airlines, energy, hospitality and retail.

Times Interest Earned Ratio: Measuring a Firm’s Ability to Meet Its Obligations

A good times interest ratio is highly dependent on the company and its industry. However, a good rule of thumb is that a TIE ratio over 2 is good. When you go out of your way to consistently weed out expenses that can be avoided, you will find that your interest coverage ratio is also getting better. The company’s operations are much more profitable than any of its peers, which will also result in more profits. Interest expense – The periodic debt payment that a company is legally obligated to pay to its creditors. The TIE ratio is used when a company decides to look for debt or issue the stock for capitalization purposes.

Further, the accounting equation may be bankrupt or have to refinance at the higher interest rate and unfavorable terms. Thus, while analyzing the solvency of the Company, other ratios like debt-equity and debt ratio should also be considered. Operating IncomeOperating Income, also known as EBIT or Recurring Profit, is an important yardstick of profit measurement and reflects the operating performance of the business. It doesn’t take into consideration non-operating gains or losses suffered by businesses, the impact of financial leverage, and tax factors. It is calculated as the difference between Gross Profit and Operating Expenses of the business.

Times Interest Earned – Explained

Both the above figures can be found in the company’s income statement. To give you an example – businesses that sell utility products regularly make money as their customers want their product. Debtors are also happy to pay because they earn cash consistently. TIE ratio only takes interest expenses into consideration and ignores principal payments.

The ratio is important as it gives investors and creditors an idea of how easily a company can repay its debts. There is no definitive answer to this question as the times interest earned ratio can vary depending on the company. However, a higher ratio is generally considered better as it indicates that the company has more cash available to cover its debts and invest in the business.

Advantages Of the Times Interest Earned Ratio

The TIE specifically measures how many times a company could cover its interest expenses during a given period. While it’s unnecessary for a company to be able to pay its debts more than once, when the ratio is higher it indicates that there’s more income left over. A higher discretionary income means the business is in a better position for growth, as it can invest in new equipment or pay for expansions.

  • Accounting ratios are used to identify business strengths and weaknesses.
  • Let us take the example of Apple Inc. to illustrate the computation of Times interest earned ratio.
  • A company’s executives may compare its times interest ratio to similar companies in the same business to see how well they are doing.
  • The balance sheet is the easiest place to find interest expenses, while the income statement has the EBIT.

EBIT – The profits that the business has got before paying taxes and interest. Grey was previously the Director of Marketing for altLINE by The Southern Bank. New businesses and those with inconsistent earnings often have to issue stock to raise capital until they create consistent earnings. That means that, in 2018, Harold was able to repay his interest expense more than 100 times over.

To ensure that you are getting the real cash position of the company, you need to use EBITDA instead of earnings before interests and taxes. If most of the business sales run on credit, then the TIE ratio may come low; even if the business has significantly positive cash flows. If the ratio is low, it means that they are closer to filing for bankruptcy.

calculate the times

You could look at the TIE as a solvency ratio, because it measures how easily a business can fulfil its financial obligations. Interest payments are used as the metric, since they are fixed, long-term expenses. If a business struggles to pay fixed expenses like interest, it runs the risk of going bankrupt. In this way, the ratio gives an early indication that a business might need to pay off existing debts before taking on more.