Free cash flow
In corporate finance, free cash flow (FCF) or free cash flow to firm (FCFF) is a way of looking at a business's cash flow to see what is available for distribution among all the securities holders of a corporate entity. This may be useful to parties such as equity holders, debt holders, preferred stock holders, convertible security holders, and so on when they want to see how much cash can be extracted from a company without causing issues to its operations.
The free cash flow can be calculated in a number of different ways depending on audience and what accounting information is available. A common definition is to take the earnings before interest after taxes, add any depreciation & Amortization, and then subtract any changes in working capital and capital expenditure. Depending on the audience, a number of refinements and adjustments may also be made to try to eliminate distortions.
The free cash may be different from the net income for a particular accounting period, as the free cash flow takes into account the consumption of capital goods and the increases required in working capital.