EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) is a measure of a company's operating performance. EBITDA focuses on the earnings derived solely from a company's core business operations, ignoring the effects of financing costs (interest), tax environment (taxes), and non-cash expenses (depreciation and amortization). This provides a clearer picture of a company's ability to generate cash from its operations.

Why it matters

Understanding EBITDA is crucial as it offers a focused view of a company's core operational profitability, excluding interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, thus enabling more straightforward comparisons across businesses. It serves as a valuable tool for investors to assess financial health, for managers in budgeting and forecasting, and is often used in company valuations and merger activities.