Capital Expenditure - CAPEX

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DEFINITION of 'Capital Expenditure - CAPEX'

Funds used by a company to acquire or upgrade physical assets such as property, industrial buildings or equipment. This type of outlay is made by companies to maintain or increase the scope of their operations. These expenditures can include everything from repairing a roof to building a brand new factory.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Capital Expenditure - CAPEX'

The amount of capital expenditures a company is likely to have depends on the industry it occupies. Some of the most capital intensive industries include oil, telecom and utilities.

In terms of accounting, an expense is considered to be a capital expenditure when the asset is a newly purchased capital asset or an investment that improves the useful life of an existing capital asset. If an expense is a capital expenditure, it needs to be capitalized; this requires the company to spread the cost of the expenditure over the useful life of the asset. If, however, the expense is one that maintains the asset at its current condition, the cost is deducted fully in the year of the expense.

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