Price to Free Cash Flow

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DEFINITION of 'Price to Free Cash Flow'

A valuation metric that compares a company's market price to its level of annual free cash flow. This is similar to the valuation measure of price-to-cash flow but uses the stricter measure of free cash flow, which reduces operating cash flow by capital expenditures. This is done as companies need to maintain or expand their asset bases (capital expenditure) to either continue growing or maintain the current levels of free cash flow.

Price to Free Cash Flow

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BREAKING DOWN 'Price to Free Cash Flow'

In general, the higher this measure, the more expensive the company is considered. But it is useful also to compare to the company's past levels of price-to-free-cash flow along with comparing the average within its industry. For example, if a company generated $200 million in operating cash flow and spent $50 million on capital expenditure, then it generated free cash flow of $150 million. If the company currently has a market cap of $5 billion, the company trades at 33 times free cash flow ($5 billion/$150 million).

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