Close this search box.

Table of Contents

Levered Free Cash Flow (LFCF)


Levered Free Cash Flow (LFCF) is a financial metric that measures how much cash a company has after paying its financial obligations, including debt and interest payments. Essentially, it reveals the amount of money available for distribution among all the company’s securities holders, including equity owners, debt holders, preferred equity holders, etc. The calculation of LFCF includes deductions for mandatory repayments of debts, hence referred to as “levered”.


The phonetics of the keyword: Levered Free Cash Flow (LFCF) would be:Levered: ‘Leh – ver – d’Free: ‘free’Cash: ‘kash’Flow: ‘flo’LFCF: ‘El – Ef – See – Ef’

Key Takeaways

Sure, here it is:“`html

  1. Levered Free Cash Flow (LFCF) is a financial metric used to assess a company’s financial health and its ability to generate cash after the payment of all financial obligations, including interest and principal payments on debt. It’s a crucial criterion used by companies, investors, analysts, and other stakeholders to assess a firm’s value, profitability, and growth potential.
  2. Calculation of LFCF involves subtracting capital expenditures and cash interest paid for liabilities from a company’s operating cash flow. The formula generally follows this format: Levered Free Cash Flow = Net Income + Depreciation / Amortization – Changes in Working Capital – Capital Expenditures – Cash Interest Paid.
  3. The Significance of LFCF is high because it serves as a powerful indicator of the actual cash available to a company that it can use for expansion, dividends, paying off debt, or saving for future challenges. Low or negative LFCF could signify financial difficulties or over-reliance on debt, whereas high LFCF indicates strong financial performance.

“`Remember to replace `Net Income + Depreciation / Amortization – Changes in Working Capital – Capital Expenditures – Cash Interest Paid` with your actual figures to get a precise LFCF value for your business or the business you are interested in.


Levered Free Cash Flow (LFCF) is a key financial metric that measures how much cash a business has after meeting all of its financial obligations, including operational costs, capital expenditures, debts, and taxes. LFCF is essential because it provides an insightful view into a company’s financial health and its capacity to generate cash flow. It not only illustrates a firm’s ability to repay its debts and fund its growth organically, but it also gives potential investors and lenders an understanding of the company’s value, profitability, and risk profile. Therefore, LFCF can significantly influence a firm’s investment decisions, capital structure, and shareholder distributions.


Levered Free Cash Flow (LFCF) is essentially an indicator that provides insight on a firm’s ability to expand its business, reduce debt, pay dividends, or engage in other activities that could benefit shareholders. It represents the amount of cash remainders after a corporation has met its operational expenses and capital expenditures, as well as after interest payments on its debts have been made. Hence, it serves as a sign of the company’s financial health as it indicates the company’s efficiency in generating cash and managing its costs and expenses.LFCF is often used by investors and analysts for valuation purposes. By examining a company’s LFCF, they can assess whether the company is generating more than enough cash to support its daily operations, and thus identify potential investment opportunities. Additionally, the LFCF can also be used during the calculation of a firm’s enterprise value by using the discounted cash flow (DCF) method. Overall, LFCF is a fundamental factor in the stride of understanding a company’s financial stability, performance, and the potential return on investments.


1. Apple Inc.: Apple is a consumer electronics company known for its strong cash flow management. For instance, in 2021, the company recorded positive levels of levered free cash flow (LFCF), highlighting its ability to generate more cash than it needs to maintain and grow its business, even after deducting interest payments on its debt. This is seen as a positive financial indicator, revealing that Apple has a surplus of cash that can be used for shareholder dividends, business acquisitions, or to repay further debt.2. Amazon Inc.: Amazon, an e-commerce and tech giant, also demonstrates an excellent case of LFCF. Despite making large investments in infrastructure, warehousing, delivery systems, and other business growth initiatives, it continues to generate high levels of levered free cash flow. This surplus cash after debts and operational costs indicates strong financial health and efficient management of its vast and varied global operations.3. Tesla Motors: In contrast, there were times when Tesla, the electric car company, had a negative levered free cash flow. This financial status was witnessed during the periods when it was heavily investing in product development and production capacity, especially for the Model 3 car. Although negative LFCF might be a common situation for companies in capital-intensive industries (such as auto manufacturing) during growth stages, it can also be a signal of financial strain if it persists over longer periods.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Levered Free Cash Flow (LFCF)?

Levered Free Cash Flow (LFCF) is a measure of the amount of cash that a company has left over after meeting its financial obligations, such as interest and principal on debt. LFCF is a useful indicator of a company’s ability to generate cash and provides investors with insights about financial stability.

How is Levered Free Cash Flow calculated?

LFCF can be calculated by taking the Unlevered Free Cash Flow and subtracting the annual interest paid on debts and taxes. Alternatively, it can also be calculated by taking the earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), subtracting taxes, and then subtracting changes in net working capital and capital expenditures.

Why is Levered Free Cash Flow important?

Levered Free Cash Flow is an important measure as it shows how much cash a company has left after to invest in business growth, pay dividends, or reduce debt. It is a key factor that investors consider when determining a company’s value or potential for future expansion.

How does Levered Free Cash Flow differ from Unlevered Free Cash Flow?

Levered Free Cash Flow takes into account the cost of interest on debt and taxes, providing a more realistic view of a company’s available cash. Unlevered Free Cash Flow, on the other hand, doesn’t consider interest or tax expenses, and represents the amount of cash available before these obligations.

Is a higher Levered Free Cash Flow always better?

Generally, a high LFCF is seen as a positive sign as it indicates that the company has more cash available to reinvest in the business, make acquisitions, pay out dividends or reduce its debt. However, if a company’s LFCF is significantly higher than its competitors, it might be due to factors like lack of investment or expansion, which could be a cause for concern.

How can fluctuations in LFCF affect a company’s business operations?

Significant fluctuations in LFCF may impact a company’s operations. For example, a drop in LFCF might limit the company’s ability to invest in new projects, while a significant increase may indicate underinvestment in necessary infrastructure or other capital expenditures.

What does negative Levered Free Cash Flow indicate?

A negative LFCF indicates that a company does not have enough cash left after meeting its financial obligations. This can suggest the company is not generating sufficient profits, has high debt levels, or is facing other financial difficulties. However, it may also be a result of significant investment in the business, such as for developing new products or expanding operations.

Related Finance Terms

  • Unlevered Free Cash Flow (UFCF): This is the cash flow available to all providers of capital, including debt, equity, and preferred equity, before the impact of interest expenses and tax considerations.
  • Enterprise Value (EV): This is a measurement of a company’s total value, often used as a more comprehensive alternative to equity market capitalization. EV includes in its calculation the market capitalization of a company, short-term and long-term debt as well as any cash on the company’s balance sheet.
  • Capital Structure: This refers to the particular combination of debt and equity that a firm uses to finance its overall operations and growth.
  • Net Debt: This is calculated as total debt minus cash and cash equivalents, which can indicate the company’s ability to pay off its debts.
  • Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC): This is a calculation of a firm’s cost of capital in which each category of capital is proportionately weighted. It provides an average rate that a company expects to pay to finance its assets.

Sources for More Information

About Due

Due makes it easier to retire on your terms. We give you a realistic view on exactly where you’re at financially so when you retire you know how much money you’ll get each month. Get started today.

Due Fact-Checking Standards and Processes

To ensure we’re putting out the highest content standards, we sought out the help of certified financial experts and accredited individuals to verify our advice. We also rely on them for the most up to date information and data to make sure our in-depth research has the facts right, for today… Not yesterday. Our financial expert review board allows our readers to not only trust the information they are reading but to act on it as well. Most of our authors are CFP (Certified Financial Planners) or CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) certified and all have college degrees. Learn more about annuities, retirement advice and take the correct steps towards financial freedom and knowing exactly where you stand today. Learn everything about our top-notch financial expert reviews below… Learn More