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Free Cash Flow Formula (FCF)

Free-Cash-Flow-FormulaTable of Contents

  • What is Free Cash Flow Formula?
  • Examples of Free Cash Flow Formula
  • Other Free Cash Flow Formulas – FCFF & FCFE
  • Free Cash Flow Formula Calculator

What is Free Cash Flow Formula (FCF)?

Free Cash Flow is cash in hand of a company, after paying all the expenses. Cash is an important element for business it is required for the functioning of business some investor give more to cash flow statement than other financial statements. Free cash flow is a measure of Cash Company is generating after paying all expenses and loans, it helps to find an actual financial condition of company Free Cash flow reflects in cash statement. Free cash flow (FCF) equation is operating cash flow minus capital expenditure.

A formula to calculate free cash flow (FCF) is as follows:-

fcf formula1

Free cash flow equation helps to find the true profitability of a company and it also helps to calculate dividend payout available to distribute it to a shareholder. Through this investor get clarity about the financial condition of a company which provides in details about the liquidity of a company.

There is another formula to calculate free cash flow which is net income plus non-cash expense minus the increase in working capital minus capital expenditure.

The formula for the calculation of free cash flow (FCF) is as follows:-

fcf formula2

Calculate FCF using Free Cash Flow Formula – Step by Step

Now, let’s see the steps to calculate FCF and formula components.

Step 1: To calculate Cash from Operations and Net income.

Cash from operation is net income plus non-cash expense minus increase in non-cash working capital.

Cash from operations = Net income + Non-cash expense – Increase in non-cash working capital

Step 2: To calculate Non-Cash Expense.

It is a sum of depreciation, amortization, share-based compensation, impairment charges and gains or losses on investments.

Non-Cash Expense = Depreciation + Amortization + Stock-based compensation + Impairment Charges + Gains or losses on Investments

Step 3: To Calculate changes in non-cash net working capital or increase in working capital.

Changes in working capital can be calculated by comparing current year inventory, account receivable or account payable with previous year values. The formula can be written as:-

Change in Working Capital = (AR2018 – AR2017) + (Inventory2018 – Inventory2017) – (AP2018 – AP2017)

Where,

AR = Account Receivable

AP = Account Payable

Step 4: To Calculate Capital Expenditure.

Capital expenditure can be calculated by using the PP&E approach which is Property, Plant and Equipment. The formula for same can be calculated by below:-

CapEx = PP&E2018 – PP&E2017 + Depreciation & Amortization

Where,

PP&E = Property, Plant, and Equipment

Step 5: To Calculate FCF Formula.

Now as we know the formula for FCF is:-

Free Cash Flow (FCF) Formula = Net Income + Non-cash expenses – Increase in working capital – Capital Expenditure

Putting the value calculated in step 1 to step 4 in the above.

FCF = Net Income + Depreciation + Amortization + Stock based compensation + Impairment Charges + Gains or losses on Investments – {(AR2018 – AR2017) + (Inventory2018 – Inventory2017) – (AP2018 – AP2017)} – {PP&E2018 – PP&E2017 + Depreciation & Amortization}

In Simple,

Free Cash Flow Formula = Cash from Operations – CapEx

Examples of FCF Formula (with Excel Template)

Let’s see some simple to advanced examples to understand the calculation of free Cash Flow Formula better.

FCF Formula – Example #1

A company named Greenfield Pvt. Ltd which deal with organic vegetables have a capital expenditure of $200 and operating cash flow $1,100. Now calculate the Free cash flow for the company.

In below-given template is the data for the calculation of free cash flow equation.

fcf formula example1.1

So, the calculation of free cash flow will be-

fcf formula example1.2

i.e. Free Cash Flow Formula = $1,100 – $200

So, Free Cash Flow will be –

fcf formula example1.3

FCF for a company is $900.00 after reducing capital expenditure.

FCF Formula – Example #2

Let’s see an example to calculate free cash flow with another formula.

Suppose, a company with net income $2,000, capital expenditure of $600, non-cash expense $300 and increase in working capital $250.

In below-given template is the data for the calculation of free cash flow equation.

fcf formula example2.1

So, the Calculation of Free Cash Flow will be –

fcf formula example2.2

i.e. FCF = 2000 + 300 – 250 – 600

Now, Free Cash Flow will be –

fcf formula example2.3

Free Cash Flow i.e. FCF of a company is $11,450.00

Other Free Cash Flow Formulas

There are basically two types of Free Cash Flow; one is FCFF and another is FCFE.

#1 – Free Cash to the Firm (FCFF) Formula

FCFF is also referred to as Unlevered. It is the ability of a company to generate cash for its capital expenditure.  FCFF is cash flow from operating activities minus capital expenditure.

fcf formula3

Example of FCFF

Suppose a company with capital expenditure of $1000 and cash flow from operating activities is $2500. Now, let’s calculate FCFF.

In below-given template is the data for the calculation of Free Cash to Firm.

fcf formula example3.1

So, the calculation of FCFF will be –

fcf formula example3.2

i.e. FCFF = 2500 – 1000

Therefore FCFF will be –

fcf formula example3.3

So, FCFF for company is $1,500.00

#2 – Free Cash Flow to Equity (FCFE) Formula

FCFE is also referred to as levered. It is basically cash available for a shareholder of the company to distribute a dividend. FCFE helps to calculate dividend payout available to distribute it to a shareholder.

FCFE is a sum of free cash to the firm plus net borrowing minus interest multiply by one minus tax.

fcf formula4

Example of FCFE

Let’s take an example where a company with capital expenditure of $1000, net borrowing of $500 with interest of $200 and tax of 25% and cash flow from operating activities is $2500. Now, let’s calculate FCFF.

In below-given template is the data for the calculation of Free Cash Flow to Equity (FCFE)

fcf formula example4.1

FCFF –

fcf formula example4.2

i.e. FCFF Formula= 2500 – 1000

FCFF = $1,500.00

So, the calculation of FCFE will be –

fcf formula example4.3

i.e. FCFE Formula = 1500 + 500 – 200 * (1-.25)

Therefore, FCFE will be –

fcf formula example4.4

So, FCFE for a company is $1,850.00

You can download the Free Cash Flow Formula Excel Template here – Free Cash Flow Formula Excel Template

Free Cash Flow Formula Calculator

You can use the following Free cash flow Formula calculator –

Operating Cash Flow
Capital Expenditure
Free Cash Flow Formula =
 

Free Cash Flow Formula = Operating Cash Flow Capital Expenditure
0 0 = 0

Relevance and Use of Free Cash Flow Formula

There are multiple uses of free cash flow equation they are as follows:-

  • To calculate the profitability of a company.
  • To get a financial position of a company.
  • Free Cash Flow Formula helps a company to take a decision of new product, debt, business opportunity.
  • Free Cash Flow Formula helps to know cash available which have to be distributed among shareholders of a company.

If FCF of a company is high then it means a company has sufficient fund for a new product launch, business expansion, and growth of the company but sometimes if a company has low FCF it may possible company will have huge investment and company will grow in long run. FCF helps an investor to calculate their profitable returns on investment in a particular company.

Recommended Articles

This has been a guide to Free Cash Flow (FCF) Formula. Here we discuss how to calculate Free Cash Flow (FCF) using practical examples and downloadable excel template. You can learn more about financial analysis from the following articles –

  • Capex vs Opex – Compare
  • Cash Flow vs Free Cash Flow | Compare
  • Calcualte Free Cash Flow Yield
  • Cash flow vs Net Income – Compare

The post Free Cash Flow Formula (FCF) appeared first on Learn Investment Banking: Financial Modeling Training Courses Online.



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