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Operating Cash Flow Demand (OCFD)


Operating Cash Flow Demand (OCFD) refers to the amount of cash needed by a company to maintain its operating capacity or income. It includes costs incurred for production, sales, and general administration. Essentially, it’s the necessary capital to keep the business running optimally without considering any growth or expansion.


Operating Cash Flow Demand (OCFD) phonetics:Operating: /ˈɒpəreɪtɪŋ/Cash: /kæʃ/Flow: /floʊ/Demand: /dɪˈmænd/(OCFD): /ˌəʊˌsiːˌefˈdiː/

Key Takeaways

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  1. Operating Cash Flow Demand is a financial metric used to assess a company’s efficiency and financial strength by comparing revenue earned to the amount of cash required for operating expenses. It gives an insight into how much cash is required to keep the company running effectively.
  2. OCFD has a significant impact on a company’s profitability. A lower OCFD relative to revenues indicates a healthier company – as less cash is needed for day-to-day operations – providing more liquidity and flexibility for handling unexpected expenses or investment opportunities.
  3. Consistently high OCFDs may indicate potential risks, as the firm may not have sufficient cash flow to cover operating expenses; this could lead to liquidity issues. It signifies the importance of efficient cash flow management and cost control in a firm’s operation.



Operating Cash Flow Demand (OCFD) is a crucial concept in business and finance as it provides an accurate indication of a company’s financial health and its capability to maintain operating expenditure. It calculates the cash generated by a company’s regular business operations and predisposes its sufficiency to settle short term liabilities, invest in new opportunities, or return wealth to shareholders. A positive OCFD suggests the company is generating more than enough cash to cover its operating expenses, implying financial stability, while a negative OCFD might signal trouble. Therefore, understanding OCFD can provide critical actions and decisions regarding investments, business planning, and evaluating financial performance.


Operating Cash Flow Demand (OCFD) is an important financial metric used by businesses and financial analysts to gauge the cash requirements of a business to maintain its current operations. Essentially, it serves as an indicator of the cash a company needs to generate from its operations to continue running effectively without needing to resort to external financing. OCFD is particularly valuable in predicting a company’s ability to generate sufficient cash to keep the business sustainable in the short-term. OCFD’s major purpose is determining the company’s cash efficiency and cash sufficiency. By comparing OCFD to operating cash flow (OCF), businesses can identify potential liquidity issues early. If OCFD exceeds OCF, it indicates the business is not creating enough cash from its operations to meet its cash demand, potentially leading to solvency problems in the future. Conversely, if OCF is greater than OCFD, the company is generating enough cash to meet its operating cash demand, indicating good financial health and effective cash management. Thus, OCFD serves as a critical tool for assessing operational efficiency, cash solvency, and overall financial health.


1. Apple Inc.: In Apple’s 2020 fiscal year, the company saw a rise in its operating cash flow due to high demand for its products and services. The release of iPhone 12 and the growing trend of work-from-home led to a significant surge in sales of Apple products, which brought an increase in the cash generated from its operations. This enabled the company to invest in new product development, repurchase shares and pay dividends.2. Amazon Inc.: Amazon’s OCFD can be seen through its ability to generate substantial cash from its operations due to high demand for its services, especially in e-commerce and cloud services. During 2020, the pandemic led to an increase in people shopping online and businesses moving toward digital platforms, leading to a rise in Amazon’s operating cash flow.3. Starbucks: In 2008, Starbucks was struggling with issues such as overexpansion and a decrease in customer visits which led to falling revenue. As a response to this situation, they made strategic decisions including store closures and cost-cutting initiatives to improve their operating cash flow. As it turned out, the strategy resulted in the improved cash flow from operation, and Starbucks started to regain financial stability. This emphasizes how important OCFD can be for a business.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Operating Cash Flow Demand (OCFD)?

Operating Cash Flow Demand, also known as OCFD, refers to the amount of cash required by a company to maintain its current operational level. It is a crucial aspect of business finance that helps a company understand the cash needed to continue its operations efficiently.

Why is Operating Cash Flow Demand important?

OCFD plays a crucial role in showcasing a company’s financial health. It helps in understanding whether a company can generate sufficient cash to meet its operating needs, which are necessary to maintain and grow the business. Low or negative OCFD could signal financial instability.

How is Operating Cash Flow Demand calculated?

The formula for OCFD is: Operating Cash Flow Demand = Operating income (EBIT) + Depreciation – Taxes.

What are the key components in the OCFD formula?

The key components include Operating income or EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes), Depreciation, and Taxes. The difference between earnings (EBIT) and depreciation less your taxes gives you the OCFD.

What does OCFD tell us about a company’s financial stability?

A positive OCFD indicates that a company is able to generate enough cash through operations to sustain its business activities. Conversely, a negative OCFD may suggest that a company is not making sufficient money from its regular operations and may be relying on external funding.

Can OCFD be negative?

Yes, OCFD can be negative. This typically means that the company’s operating expenses are greater than its operating income, indicating potential financial trouble. However, it could also be a temporary situation due to strategic investments, expansions, or other reasons, and it’s crucial to analyse the situation in detail.

What’s the difference between OCFD and free cash flow?

While both are measures of a company’s financial health, they serve different purposes. OCFD is the amount of cash needed to maintain current operations. Free cash flow, on the other hand, is the cash a company has remaining after meeting all its operating expenses and capital expenditures, indicating the amount available for distribution among all the security holders of a company.

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