Free cash flow is not the same as profit an illustration
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Free Cash Flow is not the same as profit, an illustration.

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Free cash flow is not the same as profit an illustration l.jpg
Free Cash Flow is not the same as profit, an illustration

The operating profit for companies A and B are the same, i.e. the companies are equally profitable. However, company B had old production equipment which had to be replaced during the year resulting in $10,000 of capital expenditure (capex). Therefore the cash at bank at the end of the year is $5,000 lower than at the start. In contrast for company A the bank balance at the end of the year is $ 5,000 higher than at the start of the year. Company A generated $5,000 in of cash. Company B was $5,000 cash flow negative.

A situation could even arise where a company is profitable, but cash flow negative because capital expenditure exceeds operating profit or EBITDA. Indeed this is quite common for businesses which require heavy investment in fixed assets. Therefore always take a close look at the cash flow statement.


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