Times Interest Earned - TIE

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DEFINITION of 'Times Interest Earned - TIE'

A metric used to measure a company's ability to meet its debt obligations. It is calculated by taking a company's earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) and dividing it by the total interest payable on bonds and other contractual debt. It is usually quoted as a ratio and indicates how many times a company can cover its interest charges on a pretax basis. Failing to meet these obligations could force a company into bankruptcy.

Also referred to as "interest coverage ratio" and "fixed-charged coverage."

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Times Interest Earned - TIE'

Ensuring interest payments to debt holders and preventing bankruptcy depends mainly on a company's ability to sustain earnings. However, a high ratio can indicate that a company has an undesirable lack of debt or is paying down too much debt with earnings that could be used for other projects. The rationale is that a company would yield greater returns by investing its earnings into other projects and borrowing at a lower cost of capital than what it is currently paying to meet its debt obligations.

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