Sign up for Equitymaster's free daily newsletter, The 5 Minute WrapUp and get access to our latest Multibagger guide (2017 Edition) on picking money-making stocks.

This is an entirely free service. No payments are to be made.

Download Now Subscribe to our free daily e-letter, The 5 Minute WrapUp and get this complimentary report.
We hate spam as much as you do. Check out our Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.
Discussion on depreciation & interest charges - Views on News from Equitymaster
  • E-MAIL
  • A  A  A
  • May 7, 2009

    Discussion on depreciation & interest charges

    In the previous article of this series, we had discussed how operating margins vary from one sector to another. In today's article, we will take a look at the items that come below operating profits- depreciation and interest.

    Depreciation: Overtime, assets lose their productive capacity due to reasons such as wear and tear, obsolescence, amongst others. As s result, their values deplete. Companies need to account for this depletion in value. This amount is called depreciation expense. Depreciation can also be viewed as matching the use of an asset to the income that it helped the company generate. It may be noted that it only represents the deterioration in value. As such, this expense is not a direct cash expense.

    Depreciation can be accounted in broadly two methods straight line and written down value. The straight line value method divides the cost of an asset equally over its lifetime. An example will help us understand the process better. Suppose a company buys an equipment worth Rs 10 m in FY08, and it expects it to have a lifeline of 10 years, the depreciation rate would be 10% i.e. Rs 1 m (Rs 10 m * 10%). As such, the company will show depreciation charge (for that asset) as Rs 1 m each year.

    Year Value of asset Depreciation amount
    FY08 10,000,000 1,000,000
    FY09 9,000,000 1,000,000
    FY10 8,000,000 1,000,000
    FY11 7,000,000 1,000,000
    FY12 6,000,000 1,000,000
    FY13 5,000,000 1,000,000
    FY14 4,000,000 1,000,000
    FY15 3,000,000 1,000,000
    FY16 2,000,000 1,000,000
    FY17 1,000,000 1,000,000
    FY18 0 -

    Under the written down value (WDV) method, companies depreciate the value of assets using a fixed percentage on the written down value. The written down value is the original cost less the depreciation value till the end of the previous year. As such, this results in higher depreciation during the earlier life of the asset and lesser depreciation in the later years. An example of the same is shown below:

    A company buys an asset worth Rs 10 m in FY08. It will depreciate the value of the asset by 15% each year (on the written down value).

    Year WDV of asset Depreciation amount
    FY08 10,000,000 1,500,000
    FY09 8,500,000 1,275,000
    FY10 7,225,000 1,083,750
    FY11 6,141,250 921,188
    FY12 5,220,063 783,009
    FY13 4,437,053 665,558
    FY14 3,771,495 565,724
    FY15 3,205,771 480,866
    FY16 2,724,905 408,736
    FY17 2,316,169 347,425
    FY18 1,968,744 295,312

    The main difference between both these methods is the actual amount of depreciation per year. However, it may be noted that the total depreciation costs (over the life of the asset) will be the same using either of the methods.

    Coming to the point of how much depreciation a company charges, it mainly depends on the type of asset. As mentioned earlier, depreciation is charged on assets due to reasons such as obsolesce, wear and tear, amongst others. Fixed assets such as software and computers would be depreciated at the highest rate as they tend to get obsolete rapidly due to technology upgrades and updates. Plant and machinery would attract a lower depreciation rate due to their longer life. It may be noted that companies do mention the depreciation rates they take on their fixed assets in their annual reports.

    Another point to be noted is that some companies show depreciation costs as part of operating expenses. However, it does not form part of the core operations of a company. As such, it would be a better method to calculate depreciation separately (after calculating the operating income) and not as part of the operating expenses.

    Interest costs: Interest costs are the compensation that a company pays to banks or lenders for using borrowed money. These costs are usually expressed as an annual percentage of the principal, also known as the interest rate. As you may be aware, interest rate is dependent of variety of factors such as the credit risk of the company, time value of money, the prevailing global interest and inflation rates.

    Any investor would prefer a company which is debt free. But that does not make companies that have a certain amount of debt a bad investment. If a company is easily able to cover its interest costs within a particular period, it could be a safe bet. How can we know that? This is where the interest coverage ratio comes in. The interest coverage ratio is used to determine how comfortably a company is placed in terms of payment of interest on outstanding debt. It is calculated by dividing a company's earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) by its interest expense for a given period.

    For example, if a company has a profit before tax (PBT) of Rs 100 m and is paying an interest of Rs 20 m, its interest coverage ratio would be 6 (Rs 100 m + Rs 20 m / Rs 20 m). The lower the ratio, the greater are the risks.

    Investing: Back to Basics Article Series - Previous article | Investing: Back to Basics Article Series | Next article



    Equitymaster requests your view! Post a comment on "Discussion on depreciation & interest charges". Click here!

    1 Responses to "Discussion on depreciation & interest charges"

    Ramesh S

    May 7, 2009

    You have explained in detail how companies charge depreciation on their assets. I would like to know what happens to the depreciation amount shown in P&L statement, if the amount is deposited in bank accountearns any interest. Or is just a notional figure to boost up profit (by paying less tax). brPlease explai n.

    Equitymaster requests your view! Post a comment on "Discussion on depreciation & interest charges". Click here!

    More Views on News

    How to Ride Alongside India's Best Fund Managers (The 5 Minute Wrapup)

    Jun 10, 2017

    Forty Indian investing gurus, as worthy of imitation as the legendary Peter Lynch, can help you get rich in the stock market.

    Were You Lured By Mr Market's Bait? (The 5 Minute Wrapup)

    Aug 23, 2017

    Mr Market lured investors into believing they'd bitten into a crash. Did you take the bait?

    Deep State First (Vivek Kaul's Diary)

    Aug 23, 2017

    Nowhere was the darkness deeper than in the nation's capital. There, no light shone. No flicker of awareness...observation...learning...or reflection appeared.

    Why Hasn't Warren Buffett Rung the Bell Yet? (The 5 Minute Wrapup)

    Aug 22, 2017

    It's surprising Warren Buffett hasn't warned investors about the expensive stock market? Let us know why.

    Think Twice Before You Keep Money In A Savings Bank Account (Outside View)

    Aug 22, 2017

    Post demonetisation, a cut in bank savings deposits rates was in the offing.

    More Views on News

    Most Popular

    This Small Cap Can Drive Chinese Players Out of India (and Make a Fortune in the Process)(The 5 Minute Wrapup)

    Aug 17, 2017

    A small-cap Indian company with high-return potential and blue-chip-like stability is set to supplant the Chinese players in this niche segment.

    Dear PM Modi, India is Already Land of Self-Employed, and It Ain't Working(Vivek Kaul's Diary)

    Aug 21, 2017

    Most Indians who cannot find jobs, look at becoming self-employed.

    It's the Best Time to Buy IT Stocks(Daily Profit Hunter)

    Aug 16, 2017

    The IT Sector could be in an uptrend till February 2019. Are you prepared to ride the trend?

    5 Steps To Become Financially Independent(Outside View)

    Aug 16, 2017

    Ensure your financial Independence, and pledge to start the journey towards financial freedom today!

    Think Twice Before You Keep Money In A Savings Bank Account(Outside View)

    Aug 22, 2017

    Post demonetisation, a cut in bank savings deposits rates was in the offing.

    Copyright © Equitymaster Agora Research Private Limited. All rights reserved.
    Any act of copying, reproducing or distributing this newsletter whether wholly or in part, for any purpose without the permission of Equitymaster is strictly prohibited and shall be deemed to be copyright infringement.

    LEGAL DISCLAIMER: Equitymaster Agora Research Private Limited (hereinafter referred as 'Equitymaster') is an independent equity research Company. Equitymaster is not an Investment Adviser. Information herein should be regarded as a resource only and should be used at one's own risk. This is not an offer to sell or solicitation to buy any securities and Equitymaster will not be liable for any losses incurred or investment(s) made or decisions taken/or not taken based on the information provided herein. Information contained herein does not constitute investment advice or a personal recommendation or take into account the particular investment objectives, financial situations, or needs of individual subscribers. Before acting on any recommendation, subscribers should consider whether it is suitable for their particular circumstances and, if necessary, seek an independent professional advice. This is not directed for access or use by anyone in a country, especially, USA or Canada, where such use or access is unlawful or which may subject Equitymaster or its affiliates to any registration or licensing requirement. All content and information is provided on an 'As Is' basis by Equitymaster. Information herein is believed to be reliable but Equitymaster does not warrant its completeness or accuracy and expressly disclaims all warranties and conditions of any kind, whether express or implied. Equitymaster may hold shares in the company/ies discussed herein. As a condition to accessing Equitymaster content and website, you agree to our Terms and Conditions of Use, available here. The performance data quoted represents past performance and does not guarantee future results.

    SEBI (Research Analysts) Regulations 2014, Registration No. INH000000537.

    Equitymaster Agora Research Private Limited. 103, Regent Chambers, Above Status Restaurant, Nariman Point, Mumbai - 400 021. India.
    Telephone: +91-22-61434055. Fax: +91-22-22028550. Email: info@equitymaster.com. Website: www.equitymaster.com. CIN:U74999MH2007PTC175407

    Become A Smarter Investor In
    Just 5 Minutes

    Multibagger Stocks Guide 2017
    Get our special report, Multibagger Stocks Guide (2017 Edition) Now!
    We will never sell or rent your email id.
    Please read our Terms


    Aug 24, 2017 10:22 AM