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Operating Income Before Depreciation and Amortization (OIBDA)


Operating Income Before Depreciation and Amortization (OIBDA) is a financial metric that measures a company’s profitability before factoring in the expenses of depreciation and amortization. Depreciation refers to the decline in value of physical assets over time, while amortization refers to the gradual reduction of a debt over a specific period. OIBDA allows business management and investors to compare the fundamental earning potential of companies without the impact of asset depreciation or debt reduction mechanics.


Operating Income Before Depreciation and Amortization (OIBDA) in phonetics would be: “aw-per-ay-ting in-kum bi-fore dee-pree-shee-ay-shun and am-or-ti-zay-shun (O-I-B-D-A)”.

Key Takeaways


  1. Definition: Operating Income Before Depreciation and Amortization (OIBDA) is a financial performance measure that provides insights into a company’s operational profitability before depreciation and amortization costs are deducted. It’s used to evaluate the operating earnings strength of a company in an accounting period.
  2. Calculation: OIBDA is calculated by adding depreciation and amortization expenses back to the operating income of the organization. This measure excludes business costs related to taxes, interest expenses, and non-operating income.
  3. Financial Analysis: OIBDA is a critical metric for investors and financial analysts as it shows the earnings from the regular business operations, without considering the impacts of tax structure, investment strategies, and accounting treatments. High OIBDA is generally seen as a positive sign that a company is financially healthy, and a decrease in OIBDA over time could be a warning sign for potential financial trouble.



Operating Income Before Depreciation and Amortization (OIBDA) is a significant business/finance term because it acts as a critical indicator of a company’s operational profitability and cash flow. It effectively strips away the effects of financing and capital expenditure decisions (depreciation and amortization), providing a clearer picture of how much cash flow a company is generating from its core operations without the consideration of tax environments and capital structure. This metric is particularly important for analysts and investors to understand the company’s operational efficiency and its ability to generate cash, which is crucial for meeting expenses, reinvestment, debt repayment, and distribution to shareholders.


Operating Income Before Depreciation and Amortization (OIBDA) serves as an important financial metric used by businesses to analyze their operational profitability, excluding influences from tax structures, investment activities and financing decisions. It is a non-GAAP measure that reflects the earnings generated from a company’s core business operations, thereby offering information about the firm’s financial performance without factoring in the effects of capital structure like owing debt. This makes it possible for companies to concentrate specifically on managing their business operations, as it effectively isolifies the performance of basic operations from other factors.Furthermore, OIBDA is instrumental in comparing the operational efficiencies of different companies, irrespective of their varying capital structures and tax situations. It separates operations from the impacts of non-cash expenses like depreciation and amortization, which can vary significantly between firms in capital-intensive industries. Additionally, OIBDA is often used by investors and credit agencies looking to gauge the profitability and creditworthiness of a business, prior to influence from financial leverage or investment financing, giving a clearer image of how effectively a firm is operating at its core.


1. **Telecommunication Industry**: Consider the global telecommunication company, AT&T. For Q2 2021, its operating income before depreciation and amortization was about $15 billion. This figure signifies how efficient AT&T was in its core business operations, before factoring in the costs generated from depreciation of its tangible assets like network equipment and amortization of intangible assets like patents or copyrights.2. **The Walt Disney Company**: This global entertainment company reported an OIBDA of $4.02 billion for Q2 2021, up from $1.92 billion in Q2 2020. Disney uses OIBDA as a measure of its operational profitability, taking into account earnings from its core business operations – which includes its theme parks, movie studios, and television networks – but excluding the depreciation and amortization expenses from those operations.3. **Virgin Media Inc**: In its Q1 2021 financial report, Virgin Media, a leading telecommunications company in the United Kingdom, declared an OIBDA of £501m, up 46% year-on-year. Again, this figure represents the profit from the company’s principal business, prior to considering the financial impacts of its long-term assets losing value (depreciation) or reducing the value of its intangible assets (amortization).

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What does Operating Income Before Depreciation and Amortization (OIBDA) mean in business terms?

OIBDA is a financial metric used to measure a company’s operating performance. It tells us how much profit a company has made from its primary operating activities, excluding the impact of depreciation and amortization.

How is OIBDA calculated?

OIBDA is calculated by subtracting Operating Expenses (excluding the depreciation and amortization) from Operating Revenues.

How does OIBDA differ from Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA)?

The primary difference between OIBDA and EBITDA lies in what is excluded from their calculations. OIBDA only takes into account operating income, excluding depreciation and amortization, while EBITDA includes both operating income and non-operating income.

Why is OIBDA significant in business finance?

OIBDA is an important metric that provides a clearer picture of a company’s operational profitability. By excluding depreciation and amortization, it helps investors and analysts understand how efficiently the business’s core operations are running.

What can influence the OIBDA of a company?

Factors that can impact OIBDA include the company’s sales, cost of goods sold (COGS), operating expenses, and any changes in the company’s fixed assets.

Can OIBDA be a negative figure?

Yes, if a company’s operating expenses (excluding depreciation and amortization) exceed its operating revenues, the OIBDA will be negative, indicating that the company is not profitable from its primary operating activities.

Is a higher OIBDA always better?

A higher OIBDA usually signifies that a company is earning more from its operating activities, which is generally a positive sign. However, like all financial metrics, it should not be viewed in isolation but rather in conjunction with other financial indicators.

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