A non-cash expense (also known as non-cash charge) that provides a source of free cash flow. Amount allocated during the period to amortize the cost of acquiring long-term assets over the useful life of the assets. To be clear, this is an accounting expense not a real expense that demands cash. The sum of depreciation expenses of prior years leads to the balance sheet item Accumulated Depreciation.
Copyright © 2011 Campbell R. Harvey, Professor of Finance, Fuqua School of Business at Duke University