CODI trades on multiples of cashflow available for distribution or what it refers to as CAD. The company generates $1.50 or more per year in CAD, and tries to payout between 70-85% of its cashflow to shareholders in the form of distribution.
You do not need earnings to generate cashflow. Example:
1. CODI buys a company for 50 million which earns 5 million a year. However the "book value" of that company is only 5 million so CODI now has 45 million in "goodwill" on its books that it can depreciate at 4.5 million a year for 10 years. Now it is year number two- the company (earns 5 million) but gets to take a 4.5 million writedown of goodwill so it only "reports .5 million in earnings instead of the 5 million it created in cash"