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Adjusted EBITDA


Adjusted EBITDA refers to the earnings of a company before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, with further adjustments made to exclude uncommon, non-recurring or one-time expenses or gains. These adjustments provide a clearer picture of a company’s ongoing operational profitability by removing irregular or non-operational activities. Essentially, Adjusted EBITDA is used to analyze and compare profitability among companies and industries, as it eliminates the effects of financing and capital expenditures.


The phonetics of the keyword ‘Adjusted EBITDA’ is: uh-jus-tid ee-bit-dah.

Key Takeaways

  1. Measure of a Company’s Operational Performance: Adjusted EBITDA is a metric used to analyze a company’s operating performance. It adds back non-cash and non-operating expenses to the company’s operating income, providing a clearer picture of how much profit a company is making from its core operations.
  2. Reduces the Impact of Various Accounting Practices: By adjusting for items like interest, taxes, and depreciation, Adjusted EBITDA can provide a ‘cleaner’ measurement of a company’s profitability. It reduces the impact of different accounting, financing, and tax regulations across companies and industries. However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that while it helps normalize earnings, it may not fully account for all differences in business models across different firms.
  3. Valuable in Financial Analysis But Comes With Limitations: Adjusted EBITDA is widely used in financial analysis due to its capacity to compare profitability among companies and across industries. However, it’s not a GAAP measure and may be calculated differently by different companies, making it less reliable than GAAP-based financial measures. It also ignores the cost of capital investments like property and equipment, which are crucial for many businesses.


Adjusted EBITDA, standing for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, is an important metric in business/finance as it provides a clearer picture of a company’s operational profitability. This non-GAAP measure adjusts EBITDA by excluding non-recurring, arbitrary, or irregular items to reflect the true performance of the business. It gives investors and analysts a normalized version of the measure, making it easier for the comparison of financial health across companies, sectors, or time periods, eliminating the effects of financing and investing decisions. In essence, Adjusted EBITDA allows for focused analysis on the operational efficiency and earning capacity of a business.


Adjusted EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) is a popular financial metric primarily used to analyze a company’s operational performance. It’s an enhancement of the traditional EBITDA, which adds back non-operating or non-cash transactions to present a clearer picture of a company’s profitability and cash flow. Adjusted EBITDA attempts to strip out any abnormalities or non-recurring items that might obscure how a company is really performing. The major purpose of Adjusted EBITDA is to provide stakeholders a measure of the company’s operating performance in a manner that can be easily compared against its peers. This metric is particularly useful in companies with significant investments in fixed assets or those that have a large amount of debt financing. It’s especially helpful when evaluating businesses across different industries where variations in factors like capital structure and tax rates can, if not accounted for, skew comparative performance. By aligning the factors, we gain a ‘like for like’ comparison, helping stakeholders make informed investment or managerial decisions.


1. Amazon Inc.: In its 2020 annual report, Amazon reported an adjusted EBITDA of $42.96 billion for the fiscal year. This was calculated by taking its regular EBITDA and then adjusting for expenses such as share-based compensation and other operating expenses which are non-cash in nature. This modified figure gives a clearer picture of the company’s operational performance and cash flow generation abilities.2. General Motors: General Motors in their quarterly reports often highlights their adjusted EBITDA which includes adjustments for special items that affect comparability of operational performance such as restructuring costs, acquisition-related costs, and other non-recurring items. This adjusted figure helps analysts and investors better understand the core operational profitability of the company.3. Uber: When Uber released its Q1 2021 financial results, it reported an adjusted EBITDA loss of $359 million for the quarter. The adjusted EBITDA figure excludes items such as stock-based compensation, depreciation and amortization, and interest and taxes. By so doing, it allows potential investors or current shareholders to better evaluate the firm’s operational efficiency, profitability, and performance against peers.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Adjusted EBITDA?

Adjusted EBITDA is a financial performance measurement used by businesses. It stands for Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization, with further adjustments made to exclude one-time or irregular expenses and income sources.

Why is Adjusted EBITDA used?

Adjusted EBITDA is used to provide a clearer picture of a company’s ongoing operational profitability by excluding non-operational expenses such as tax, interest, and depreciation, as well as irregular items that may not indicate the company’s future performance.

How is Adjusted EBITDA calculated?

Adjusted EBITDA is calculated by starting with a company’s earnings (net income or profit) and then adding back interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization. Further adjustments are made to exclude non-cash and irregular income and expenses.

How does Adjusted EBITDA differ from EBITDA?

The difference between Adjusted EBITDA and EBITDA lies in the adjustments. EBITDA is a simpler calculation that excludes interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization. Adjusted EBITDA, on the other hand, makes additional adjustments to exclude non-cash and irregular items.

What could be the potential challenges with using Adjusted EBITDA?

Adjusted EBITDA, while helpful, may potentially mask poor cash flow, inflate income, or present a rosier financial situation than what is actually the case. It should not be used as the sole indicator of a company’s financial health.

Is Adjusted EBITDA recognized by the GAAP or IFRS?

No, Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP and non-IFRS financial measure. While it can be a useful tool, it must be used with caution and supplement other GAAP or IFRS recognized measurements.

Are all adjustments to EBITDA for getting Adjusted EBITDA standard?

No, the adjustments made to EBITDA can vary from one company to another. These adjustments can be influenced by a company’s specific industry, its business model, or even management preferences. It’s important to read the notes accompanying financial statements to understand what specific adjustments have been made.

Related Finance Terms

  • Operating Expenses: This term refers to the costs associated with the normal day-to-day operations of a business.
  • Non-cash Items: These are expenses that do not affect cash flow but are deducted from Revenue during calculation of Net Income. They are added back while calculating Adjusted EBITDA.
  • Operating Income (EBIT): This is a company’s profit after all operating expenses have been paid but before interest and tax. It is used in calculation of EBITDA.
  • Depreciation and Amortization: These are non-cash expenses that reduce the value of an asset over time due to use, age, or obsolescence. They are added back to the EBIT to get EBITDA.
  • Extraordinary Items: These are income or expenses from events that are not expected to recur regularly, they are usually removed to calculate Adjusted EBITDA.

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