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The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) enacted in December 2017 will limit the deductibility of business interest expense to 30% of adjusted taxable income (ATI) beginning in 2022. This article uses earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) as a proxy for ATI to examines how this bill will have an asymmetric impact on taxes, earnings, and cash flow from operations (CFO) of firms with interest coverage ratios (ICR) that are at or marginally above 3.33. Equity analysts will need to consider the higher volatility in estimated taxes paid in the future when using discounted Free Cash Flow (FCF) to value a firm’s equity. Issuing debt becomes less attractive with implications for the capital structure of the firm, bond ratings and use of leverage for growth, share repurchase or dividend payout. Firms with substantial interest deduction carryforwards because of inadequate EBIT, might want to sell or merge with firms with high ICRs that can take advantage of the unused interest deduction carryforwards. Firms attempting to reduce leverage might rollover maturing debt with qualified preferred stock issues.

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