Financial Terms
Net profit margin

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Definition of Net profit margin

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Net profit margin

net income divided by sales; the amount of each sales dollar left over after all expenses
have been paid.

Related Terms:

NPV (net present value of cash flows)

Same as PV, but usually includes a subtraction for an initial cash outlay.

After-tax profit margin

The ratio of net income to net sales.

Before-tax profit margin

The ratio of net income before taxes to net sales.

Book profit

The cumulative book income plus any gain or loss on disposition of the assets on termination of the SAT.

Buy on margin

A transaction in which an investor borrows to buy additional shares, using the shares
themselves as collateral.

Contribution margin

The difference between variable revenue and variable cost.

Dollar safety margin

The dollar equivalent of the safety cushion for a portfolio in a contingent immunization

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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

European Monetary System (EMS)

An exchange arrangement formed in 1979 that involves the currencies
of European Union member countries.

Exposure netting

Offsetting exposures in one currency with exposures in the same or another currency,
where exchange rates are expected to move in such a way that losses or gains on the first exposed position
should be offset by gains or losses on the second currency exposure.

Firm's net value of debt

Total firm value minus total firm debt.

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.

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
the exchange.

International Monetary Fund

An organization founded in 1944 to oversee exchange arrangements of
member countries and to lend foreign currency reserves to members with short-term balance of payment

International Monetary Market (IMM)

A division of the CME established in 1972 for trading financial
futures. Related: Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).

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.

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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).

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.

Margin call

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 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.



Marginal tax rate

The tax rate that would have to be paid on any additional dollars of taxable income earned.

Monetary gold

Gold held by governmental authorities as a financial asset.

Monetary policy

Actions taken by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System to influence the
money supply or interest rates.

Monetary / non-monetary method

Under this translation method, monetary items (e.g. cash, accounts
payable and receivable, and long-term debt) are translated at the current rate while non-monetary items (e.g.
inventory, fixed assets, and long-term investments) are translated at historical rates.

Net adjusted present value

The adjusted present value minus the initial cost of an investment.

Net advantage of refunding

The net present value of the savings from a refunding.

Net advantage to leasing

The net present value of entering into a lease financing arrangement rather than
borrowing the necessary funds and buying the asset.

Net advantage to merging

The difference in total post- and pre-merger market value minus the cost of the merger.

Net asset value (NAV)

The value of a fund's investments. For a mutual fund, the net asset value per share
usually represents the fund's market price, subject to a possible sales or redemption charge. For a closed end
fund, the market price may vary significantly from the net asset value.

Net assets

The difference between total assets on the one hand and current liabilities and noncapitalized longterm
liabilities on the other hand.

Net benefit to leverage factor

A linear approximation of a factor, T*, that enables one to operationalize the
total impact of leverage on firm value in the capital market imperfections view of capital structure.

Net book value

The current book value of an asset or liability; that is, its original book value net of any
accounting adjustments such as depreciation.

Net cash balance

Beginning cash balance plus cash receipts minus cash disbursements.

Net change

This is the difference between a day's last trade and the previous day's last trade.

Net errors and omissions

In balance of payments accounting, net errors and omissions record the statistical
discrepancies that arise in gathering balance of payments data.

Net financing cost

Also called the cost of carry or, simply, carry, the difference between the cost of financing
the purchase of an asset and the asset's cash yield. Positive carry means that the yield earned is greater than
the financing cost; negative carry means that the financing cost exceeds the yield earned.

Net float

Sum of disbursement float and collection float.

Net income

The company's total earnings, reflecting revenues adjusted for costs of doing business,
depreciation, interest, taxes and other expenses.

Net investment

Gross, or total, investment minus depreciation.

Net lease

A lease arrangement under which the lessee is responsible for all property taxes, maintenance
expenses, insurance, and other costs associated with keeping the asset in good working condition.

Net operating losses

Losses that a firm can take advantage of to reduce taxes.

Net operating margin

The ratio of net operating income to net sales.

Net period

The period of time between the end of the discount period and the date payment is due.

Net present value (NPV)

The present value of the expected future cash flows minus the cost.

Net present value of growth opportunities

A model valuing a firm in which net present value of new
investment opportunities is explicitly examined.

Net present value of future investments

The present value of the total sum of NPVs expected to result from
all of the firm's future investments.

Net present value rule

An investment is worth making if it has a positive NPV. Projects with negative NPVs
should be rejected.

Net salvage value

The after-tax net cash flow for terminating the project.

Net working capital

Current assets minus current liabilities. Often simply referred to as working capital.

Net worth

Common stockholders' equity which consists of common stock, surplus, and retained earnings.


Reducing transfers of funds between subsidiaries or separate companies to a net amount.

Netting out

To get or bring in as a net; to clear as profit.

Operating profit margin

The ratio of operating margin to net sales.

Original margin

The margin needed to cover a specific new position. Related: margin, security deposit (initial)

Payments netting

Reducing fund transfers between affiliates to only a netted amount. netting can be done on
a bilateral basis (between pairs of affiliates), or on a multi-lateral basis (taking all affiliates together).

Profit 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

Profitability index

The present value of the future cash flows divided by the initial investment. Also called
the benefit-cost ratio.

Profitability ratios

Ratios that focus on the profitability of the firm. profit margins measure performance
with relation to sales. Rate of return ratios measure performance relative to some measure of size of the

Risk-adjusted profitability

A probability used to determine a "sure" expected value (sometimes called a
certainty equivalent) that would be equivalent to the actual risky expected value.

Safety-net return

The minimum available return that will trigger an immunization strategy in a contingent
immunization strategy.

SIMEX (Singapore International Monetary Exchange)

A leading futures and options exchange in Singapore.

Variation margin

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 profit a company makes before expenses and taxes are taken away.


The profit a company makes after cost of goods sold, expenses, and taxes are subtracted from net sales.

NET SALES (revenue)

The amount sold after customers’ returns, sales discounts, and other allowances are taken away from
gross sales. (Companies usually just show the net sales amount on their income statements, omitting returns, allowances, and the like.)


What’s left over after you subtract the cost of goods sold and all your expenses from sales.


A ratio that shows how much net income (profit) a company made on each dollar of net sales. Here’s the formula:
(net income) / (net sales)


A ratio that shows how much a company had to collect in net sales to make a dollar of profit. Figure it this way:
(net sales) / (net income)

Controllable profit

The profit made by a division after deducting only those expenses that can be controlled by the
divisional manager and ignoring those expenses that are outside the divisional manager’s control.

Cost–volume–profit analysis (CVP)

A method for understanding the relationship between revenue, cost and sales volume.

Gross profit

The difference between the price at which goods or services are sold and the cost of sales.
Income The revenue generated from the sale of goods or services.


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.

Marginal cost

The cost of producing one extra unit.

Margin of safety

A measure of the difference between the anticipated and breakeven levels of activity.

Net present value (NPV)

A discounted cash flow technique used for investment appraisal that calculates the present value of future cash flows and deducts the initial capital investment.

Net profit

See operating profit.

Operating profit

The profit made by the business for an accounting period, equal to gross profit less selling, finance, administration etc. expenses, but before deducting interest or taxation.


The difference between income and expenses.

Profit and Loss account

A financial statement measuring the profit or loss of a business – income less expenses – for an accounting period.

Profit before interest and taxes (PBIT)


Profit centre

A division or unit of an organization that is responsible for achieving profit targets.

Profitability index

See cash value added.

Retained profits

The amount of profit after deducting interest, taxation and dividends that is retained by the business.

Gross profit

The result of subtracting cost of goods sold from sales. Synonymous with gross margin.

Net income

The last line of the Income Statement; it represents the amount that the company earned during a specified period.

cash flow from operating activities, or cash flow from profit

This equals the cash inflow from sales during the period minus the cash
outflow for expenses during the period. Keep in mind that to measure
net income, generally accepted accounting principles require the use of
accrual-basis accounting. Starting with the amount of accrual-basis net
income, adjustments are made for changes in accounts receivable,
inventories, prepaid expenses, and operating liabilities—and depreciation
expense is added back (as well as any other noncash outlay
expense)—to arrive at cash flow from profit, which is formally labeled
cash flow from operating activities in the externally reported statement
of cash flows.

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

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.

net income (also called the bottom line, earnings, net earnings, and net

operating earnings)
This key figure equals sales revenue for a period
less all expenses for the period; also, any extraordinary gains and losses
for the period are included in this final profit figure. Everything is taken
into account to arrive at net income, which is popularly called the bottom
line. net income is clearly the single most important number in business
financial reports.

net present value (NPV)

Equals the present value (PV) of a capital investment
minus the initial amount of capital that is invested, or the entry cost
of the investment. A positive NPV signals an attractive capital investment
opportunity; a negative NPV means that the investment is substandard.

net worth

Generally refers to the book value of owners’ equity as reported
in a business’s balance sheet. If liabilities are subtracted from assets, the
accounting equation becomes: assets - liabilities = owners’ equity. In this
version of the accounting equation, owners’ equity equals net worth, or
the amount of assets after deducting the liabilities of the business.

operating profit

See earnings before interest and income tax (EBIT).


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.

profit and loss statement (P&L statement)

This is an alternative moniker
for an income statement or for an internal management profit report.
Actually, it’s a misnomer because a business has either a profit or a loss
for a period. Accordingly, it should be profit or loss statement, but the
term has caught on and undoubtedly will continue to be profit and loss

profit module

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).

profit ratios

Ratios based on sales revenue for a period. A measure of
profit is divided by sales revenue to compute a profit ratio. For example,
gross margin is divided by sales revenue to compute the gross margin
profit ratio. Dividing bottom-line profit (net income) by sales revenue
gives the profit ratio that is generally called return on sales.

unit margin

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

Net Present Value (NPV)

The present value of all future cash inflows minus the present value
of all cash outflows







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