Definition of contribution margin
An intermediate measure of profit equal to sales revenue
minus cost-of-goods-sold expense and minus variable operating
expenses—but before fixed operating expenses are deducted. Profit at
this point contributes toward covering fixed operating expenses and
toward interest and income tax expenses. The breakeven point is the
sales volume at which contribution margin just equals total fixed
the difference between selling price and
variable cost per unit or in total for the level of activity; it
indicates the amount of each revenue dollar remaining
after variable costs have been covered and going toward
the coverage of fixed costs and the generation of profits
The difference between variable revenue and variable cost.
The margin that results when variable production costs are subtracted
from revenue. It is most useful for making incremental pricing decisions
where a company must cover its variable costs, though perhaps not all of its fixed
the proportion of each revenue dollar remaining after variable costs have been covered;
computed as contribution margin divided by sales
the difference between selling price and variable cost of goods sold
see contribution margin
The general term profit is not precisely defined; it may refer to net
gains over a period of time, or cash inflows less cash outflows for an
investment, or earnings before or after certain costs and expenses are
deducted from income or revenue. In the world of business, profit is
measured by the application of generally accepted accounting principles
(GAAP). In the income statement, the final, bottom-line profit is generally
labeled net income and equals revenue (plus any extraordinary gains)
less all expenses (and less any extraordinary losses) for the period. Inter-
nal management profit reports include several profit lines: gross margin,
contribution margin, operating profit (earnings before interest and
income tax), and earnings before income tax. External income statements
report gross margin (also called gross profit) and often report one
or more other profit lines, although practice varies from business to
business in this regard.
This concept refers to a separate source of revenue and
profit within a business organization, which should be identified for
management analysis and control. A profit module may focus on one
product or a cluster of products. Profit in this context is not the final, bottom-
line net income of the business as a whole. Rather, other measures
of profit are used for management analysis and decision-making purposes—
such as gross margin, contribution margin, or operating profit
(earnings before interest and income tax).
the proportion of each revenue dollar
represented by variable costs; computed as variable costs
divided by sales or as (1 - contribution margin ratio)
The ratio of net income to net sales.
The ratio of net income before taxes to net sales.
A transaction in which an investor borrows to buy additional shares, using the shares
themselves as collateral.
Also the difference between the selling price and variable costs, which can be expressed either per
unit or in total.
This is the principle which specifies the factors that must be taken into account when calculating dividends. At Canada Life, the key factors are: interest earnings, mortality, and operating expense.
The percentage tax charged by a state to an employer to
cover its share of the state unemployment insurance fund.
A pension plan in which the sponsor is responsible only for making specified
contributions into the plan on behalf of qualifying participants. Related: defined benefit plan
Delayed issuance pool Refers to MBSs that at the time of issuance were collateralized by seasoned loans
originated prior to the MBS pool issue date.
A qualified retirement plan under which the employer
is liable for a payment into the plan of a specific size, but not for the size
of the resulting payments from the plan to participants.
The dollar equivalent of the safety cushion for a portfolio in a contingent immunization
EBITDA divided by total sales or total revenue.
Effective margin (EM)
Used with SAT performance measures, the amount equaling the net earned spread, or
margin, of income on the assets in excess of financing costs for a given interest rate and prepayment rate
Equity contribution agreement
An agreement to contribute equity to a project under certain specified
Federal Insurance Contributions Act of 1935 (FICA)
A federal Act authorizing the government to collect Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes.
Revenues less the cost of goods sold.
gross margin, or gross profit
This first-line measure of profit
equals sales revenue less cost of goods sold. This is profit before operating
expenses and interest and income tax expenses are deducted. Financial
reporting standards require that gross margin be reported in
external income statements. Gross margin is a key variable in management
profit reports for decision making and control. Gross margin
doesn’t apply to service businesses that don’t sell products.
Gross profit margin
Gross profit divided by sales, which is equal to each sales dollar left over after paying
for the cost of goods sold.
Gross Profit Margin
Gross profit divided by revenue.
Initial margin requirement
When buying securities on margin, the proportion of the total market value of
the securities that the investor must pay for in cash. The Security Exchange Act of 1934 gives the board of
governors of the Federal Reserve the responsibility to set initial margin requirements, but individual
brokerage firms are free to set higher requirements. In futures contracts, initial margin requirements are set by
Maintenance margin requirement
A sum, usually smaller than -but part of the original margin, which must
be maintained on deposit at all times. If a customer's equity in any futures position drops to, or under, the
maintenance margin level, the broker must issue a margin call for the amount at money required to restore the
customer's equity in the account to the original margin level. Related: margin, margin call.
This allows investors to buy securities by borrowing money from a broker. The margin is the
difference between the market value of a stock and the loan a broker makes. Related: security deposit (initial).
The amount added to a lower figure to reach a higher figure, expressed as a percentage of the higher figure, e.g. the margin that profit represents as a percentage of selling price.
Margin account (Stocks)
A leverageable account in which stocks can be purchased for a combination of
cash and a loan. The loan in the margin account is collateralized by the stock and, if the value of the stock
drops sufficiently, the owner will be asked to either put in more cash, or sell a portion of the stock. margin
rules are federally regulated, but margin requirements and interest may vary among broker/dealers.
A demand for additional funds because of adverse price movement. Maintenance margin
requirement, security deposit maintenance
margin of safety With respect to working capital management, the difference between 1) the amount of longterm
financing, and 2) the sum of fixed assets and the permanent component of current assets.
Margin of safety
A measure of the difference between the anticipated and breakeven levels of activity.
margin of safety
the excess of the budgeted or actual sales
of a company over its breakeven point; it can be calculated
in units or dollars or as a percentage; it is equal to
(1 - degree of operating leverage)
Margin requirement (Options)
The amount of cash an uncovered (naked) option writer is required to
deposit and maintain to cover his daily position valuation and reasonably foreseeable intra-day price changes.
Margin Tax Rate
The tax rate applicable to the last unit of income.
The cost of producing one extra unit.
The incremental change in the unit cost of a product as a result of a
change in the volume of its production.
Marginal Propensity to Consume
Fraction of an increase in disposable income that is spent on consumption.
Marginal Propensity to Import
Fraction of an increase in disposable income that is spent on imports.
Marginal Propensity to Save
Fraction of an increase in disposable income that is saved.
Marginal tax rate
The tax rate that would have to be paid on any additional dollars of taxable income earned.
marginal tax rate
Additional taxes owed per dollar of additional income.
Marginal Tax Rate
Percent of an increase in income paid in tax.
Net operating margin
The ratio of net operating income to net sales.
Net profit margin
Net income divided by sales; the amount of each sales dollar left over after all expenses
have been paid.
Operating profit margin
The ratio of operating margin to net sales.
The margin needed to cover a specific new position. Related: margin, security deposit (initial)
product line margin
see segment margin
Indicator of profitability. The ratio of earnings available to stockholders to net sales.
Determined by dividing net income by revenue for the same 12-month period. Result is shown as a
the ratio of income to sales
Profit Margin Ratio
A measure of how much profit is earned on each dollar of sales. It
is calculated by dividing the net income available for distribution to
shareholders by the total sales generated during the period.
the excess of revenues over direct variable expenses and avoidable fixed expenses for a particular segment
Self-Employment Contributions Act (SECA)
A federal Act requiring self-employed business owners to pay the same total tax rates for Social Security and
Medicare taxes that are split between employees and employers under the Federal Insurance contributions Act.
Sales revenue less the cost of materials.
The profit per unit sold of a product after deducting product
cost and variable expenses of selling the product from the sales price of
the product. Unit margin equals profit before fixed operating expenses
are considered and before interest and income tax are deducted. Unit
margin is one of the key variables in a profit model for decision-making
An additional required deposit to bring an investor's equity account up to the initial margin
level when the balance falls below the maintenance margin requirement.
The annual sales volume level at which total contribution
margin equals total annual fixed expenses. The breakeven point is only a
point of reference, not the goal of a business, of course. It is computed by
dividing total fixed expenses by unit margin. The breakeven point is
quite useful in analyzing profit behavior and operating leverage. Also, it
gives manager a good point of reference for setting sales goals and
understanding the consequences of incurring fixed costs for a period.
degree of operating leverage
a factor that indicates how a percentage change in sales, from the existing or current
level, will affect company profits; it is calculated as contribution
margin divided by net income; it is equal to (1 - margin of safety percentage)
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