EBT or EBITDA Reviewed by Momizat on . Which Measure is Best for Normalization? Analysts face a potentially major issue when using EBT as the starting point for normalizing future earnings using trad Which Measure is Best for Normalization? Analysts face a potentially major issue when using EBT as the starting point for normalizing future earnings using trad Rating: 0
You Are Here: Home » Valuation/Appraisal » EBT or EBITDA

EBT or EBITDA

Which Measure is Best for Normalization?

Analysts face a potentially major issue when using EBT as the starting point for normalizing future earnings using traditional business valuation fundamentals. An issue arises when assumptions used in forecasting key expenses for normalized earnings differ from the way those expenses were calculated in the historical EBT. Key expenses that can have a large impact on ultimate value include non-cash items and related capital expenditures as well as interest expense and debt assumptions. This overview points out the reasons why traditional methods may not be viable for every situation. For a more detailed discussion on this topic, please review the July/August 2017 issue of The Value Examiner.

Analysts face a potentially major issue when using EBT as the starting point for normalizing future earnings using traditional business valuation fundamentals.  An issue arises when assumptions used in forecasting key expenses for normalized earnings differ from the way those expenses were calculated in the historical EBT.  Key expenses that can have a large impact on ultimate value include non-cash items and related capital expenditures as well as interest expense and debt assumptions.  This overview points out the reasons why traditional methods may not be viable for every situation.  For a more detailed discussion on this topic, please review the July/August 2017 issue of The Value Examiner.

Observations:

  1. Normalizing historical non-cash items like depreciation can be time consuming and adds no benefit to the determination of future earnings when cash flows are the appropriate benefit stream to be used in an Income Approach.
  2. Depreciation and amortization used to determine future earnings and future cash flows should be forward-looking. They should not be determined based on historical depreciation and amortization unless the entity has constant historical annual capital expenditures and depreciation methods and rates that are expected to continue into the future.  In any case, depreciation and amortization expense used to determine future earnings and future cash flows should be consistent.
  3. Depreciation and amortization expenses used to determine future earnings and future cash flows should include future depreciation and amortization on existing property, equipment, and intangibles as of the valuation date, as well as on future expected capital expenditures which will be necessary to support projected operations.
  4. Future depreciation and amortization expense incorporated into the future benefit stream should be determined using straight-line depreciation. A consideration for identifying future cash flows might also include using tax-allowable depreciation and amortization methods and rates in the calculation of income taxes.
  5. Operating interest expense that is used to determine future earnings and future cash flows should be forward-looking. It should not necessarily be based on historical interest expense; rather, the interest expense used to determine future earnings and future cash flows should be consistent with future debt service fluctuations.
  6. A hypothetical willing and able buyer acquiring a controlling interest in a subject entity will attempt to optimize debt capital—to the extent possible.
  7. Optimized debt capital can be determined using the borrowing capacity of the subject entity, which is based on a variety of factors, such as: industry levels of debt to equity, specific company collateral coverage, debt service coverage, and fixed charge coverage. For this exercise, the analyst should be using an interest rate as of the valuation date that is consistent with the market and industry with consideration of the creditworthiness of the subject entity.
  8. Optimized debt capital may also be considered when valuing a lack-of-control interest in some valuation engagements, depending on the purpose, standard of value, premise of value, and facts and circumstances of the engagement—primarily in litigation situations when fair value is being sought. The valuation analyst should follow the same assumptions used in optimizing debt capital of a controlling interest (when and where it is appropriate) in determining the optimized debt capital for a lack-of-control interest in those cases where the lack-of-control value aspects are ignored based on the purpose and standard of value.
  9. Income taxes should be determined using current effective tax rates as of the valuation date, applied to projected taxable income of the subject entity. The valuation analyst should modify these rates if there is knowledge of a known change in the statutory rates as published.
    The problem with using EBT as the starting point for normalizing historical earnings is that distortion can be caused by the difference between the methods used to calculate historical depreciation, amortization, interest, and taxes, compared to the methods used to calculate future values for these variables.  It is easiest to illustrate this problem with an example.

    To aid in the use of normalized EBITDA as your starting point and to help the users of your report to understand how historical EBITDA was determined, it is helpful for the entity’s historical income statements to be presented in a manner that itemizes historical EBITDA, EBIT, EBT, and net income.

These observations point out the potential for over- or undervaluation when using EBT as a starting point, and provides the foundation for an easy change (with admittedly huge benefits) for those currently struggling with the reconciliation problems that can arise when using normalized EBT instead of normalized EBITDA in their capitalization of earnings analysis.

The full version of this article is published in The Value Examiner, July/August 2017.

Garth M. Tebay, CPA, CVA, MAFF, CMAA, Senior Managing Director of Valuation Services of HWSC LP, a multi-disciplinary practice serving entrepreneurs, business owning families, and family offices. HWSC provides both advisory and transactional support on matters relating to business growth, company capitalization, generational transition, and shareholder liquidity.

Mr. Tebay can be contacted at (419) 873-6114 or by e-mail to gtebay@hwsc.com or www.hwsc.com.

Jill R. Christopher, DBA, CPA, CVA, CFE, James F. Dicke Professor of Accounting, James F. Dicke College of Business, Ohio Northern University. Dr. Christopher holds an endowed chair in accounting. She teaches undergraduate courses in financial and managerial accounting, and masters-level courses in forensic accounting, including a business valuation course which features high-impact learning through live-client valuation engagements. Her prior business experience includes public accounting, private accounting, and a manufacturing controllership position.

Ms. Christopher can be contacted by e-mail to j-christopher@onu.edu.

The National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA) supports the users of business and intangible asset valuation services and financial forensic services, including damages determinations of all kinds and fraud detection and prevention, by training and certifying financial professionals in these disciplines.

Number of Entries : 1608

©2017 NACVA and the Consultants' Training Institute • (800) 677-2009 • 5217 South State Street, Suite 400 Salt Lake City, UT USA 84107

event themes - theme rewards

UA-49898941-1
lw