Definition of Operating Earnings
A term frequently used to describe earnings after the removal of the
effects of nonrecurring or nonoperating items.
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
The use of various forms of gimmickry to distort a company's true financial performance in order to achieve a desired result.
A characterization used by the Securities and Exchange
Commission to designate earnings management that results in an intentional and material misrepresentation
earnings of a firm as reported on its income statement.
Net income adjusted to exclude selected nonrecurring and noncash items of reserve, gain, expense, and loss.
For investment companies, the management fee and "other expenses,"
including the expenses for maintaining shareholder records, providing shareholders with financial statements,
and providing custodial and accounting services. For 12b-1 funds, selling and marketing costs are included.
This important ratio equals the net
income for a period (usually one year) divided by the number capital
stock shares issued by a business corporation. This ratio is so important
for publicly owned business corporations that it is included in the daily
stock trading tables published by the Wall Street Journal, the New York
Times, and other major newspapers. Despite being a rather straightforward
concept, there are several technical problems in calculating
earnings per share. Actually, two EPS ratios are needed for many businesses—
basic EPS, which uses the actual number of capital shares outstanding,
and diluted EPS, which takes into account additional shares of
stock that may be issued for stock options granted by a business and
other stock shares that a business is obligated to issue in the future.
Also, many businesses report not one but two net income figures—one
before extraordinary gains and losses were recorded in the period and a
second after deducting these nonrecurring gains and losses. Many business
corporations issue more than one class of capital stock, which
makes the calculation of their earnings per share even more complicated.
Percentage of earnings relative to total assets; indication of how
effectively assets are used to generate earnings. It is calculated by
dividing earnings before interest and taxes by the book value of all
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.
With some exceptions, the cash effects of transactions
that enter into the determination of net income, such as cash receipts from sales of goods
and services and cash payments to suppliers and employees for acquisitions of inventory and
A measure of earnings that includes only the results of the primary operating
activities of the firm. It is most common to see the measure used by financial firms.
Revenue recognized to date under the percentage-of-completion method in excess of amounts billed. Also known as unbilled accounts
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)
Percentage change in profits given a 1 percent change in sales.
This measure of earnings per share
recognizes additional stock shares that may be issued in the future for
stock options and as may be required by other contracts a business has
entered into, such as convertible features in its debt securities and preferred
stock. Both basic earnings per share and, if applicable, diluted
earnings per share are reported by publicly owned business corporations.
Often the two EPS figures are not far apart, but in some cases the
gap is significant. Privately owned businesses do not have to report earnings
per share. See also basic earnings per share.
Net income for the company during the period.
In general, refers to a company's total sales less cost of sales and operating expenses, including interest and income tax.
earnings before interest and income tax (EBIT)
A measure of profit that
equals sales revenue for the period minus cost-of-goods-sold expense
and all operating expenses—but before deducting interest and income
tax expenses. It is a measure of the operating profit of a business before
considering the cost of its debt capital and income tax.
Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT)
A financial measure defined as revenues less cost of goods sold
and selling, general, and administrative expenses. In other words, operating and non-operating profit before
the deduction of interest and income taxes.
Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT)
The operating profit before deducting interest and tax.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA)
The operating profit before deducting interest, tax, depreciation and amortization.
Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA)
An earningsbased measure that, for many, serves as a surrogate for cash flow. Actually consists of working
capital provided by operations before interest and taxes.
The active manipulation of earnings toward a predetermined target.
That target may be one set by management, a forecast made by analysts, or an amount that is consistent
with a smoother, more sustainable earnings stream. Often, although not always, earnings
management entails taking steps to reduce and “store” profits during good years for use during
slower years. This more limited form of earnings management is known as income smoothing.
Earnings per Share
A measure of the earnings generated by a company on a per
share basis. It is calculated by dividing income available for
distribution to shareholders by the number of common shares
Earnings per share (EPS)
EPS, as it is called, is a company's profit divided by its number of outstanding
shares. If a company earned $2 million in one year had 2 million shares of stock outstanding, its EPS would
be $1 per share. The company often uses a weighted average of shares outstanding over the reporting term.
earnings per share (EPS)
See basic earnings per share and diluted earnings per share.
Earnings per share of common stock
How much profit a company made on each share of common stock this year.
Earnings retention ratio
Positive or negative differences from the consensus forecast of earnings by institutions
such as First Call or IBES. Negative earnings surprises generally have a greater adverse affect on stock prices
than the reciprocal positive earnings surprise on stock prices.
The ratio of earnings per share after allowing for tax and interest payments on fixed interest
debt, to the current share price. The inverse of the price/earnings ratio. It's the Total Twelve Months earnings
divided by number of outstanding shares, divided by the recent price, multiplied by 100. The end result is
shown in percentage.
EBBS - Earnings before the bad stuff
An acronym attributed to a member of the Securities and
Exchange Commission staff. The reference is to earnings that have been heavily adjusted to
remove a wide range of nonrecurring, nonoperating, and noncash items.
EBDDT - Earnings before depreciation and deferred taxes
This measure is used principally by
firms in the real estate industry, with the exception of real estate investment trusts, which typically
do not pay taxes.
The real flow of cash that a firm could pay out forever in the absence of any change in
the firm's productive capacity.
Fully diluted earnings per shares
earnings per share expressed as if all outstanding convertible securities
and warrants have been exercised.
Low price-earnings ratio effect
The tendency of portfolios of stocks with a low price-earnings ratio to
outperform portfolios consisting of stocks with a high price-earnings ratio.
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.
Includes all the sales and expense activities of a business.
But the term is very broad and inclusive; it is used to embrace all
types of activities engaged in by profit-motivated entities toward the
objective of earning profit. A bank, for instance, earns net income not
from sales revenue but from loaning money on which it receives interest
income. Making loans is the main revenue operating activity of banks.
a budget expressed in both units and dollars
Operating cash flow
earnings before depreciation minus taxes. It measures the cash generated from
operations, not counting capital spending or working capital requirements.
operating cash flow
See cash flow from operating activities.
Operating Cash Flow
Income available after the payment of taxes, plus the value of the
The average time intervening between the acquisition of materials or services and the final
cash realization from those acquisitions.
Any expense associated with the general, sales, and administrative
functions of a business.
The total amount that was spent to run a company this year.
The amount of money the company must spend on overhead, distribution, taxes, underwriting the risk and servicing the policy. It is a factor in calculating premium rates.
Degree to which exchange rate changes, in combination with price changes, will alter a
company's future operating cash flows.
The net income of a business, less the impact of any financial activity,
such as interest expense or investment income, as well as taxes and extraordinary
A measure of results produced by the core operations of a firm. It is common
for both recurring and nonrecurring items that are associated with operations to be included
in this measure. operating income is typically found in multistep income statements and is a pretax
Short-term, cancelable lease. A type of lease in which the period of contract is less than the
life of the equipment and the lessor pays all maintenance and servicing costs.
The rental of an asset from a lessor, but not under terms that would
qualify it as a capital lease.
One where the risks and benefits, as well as ownership, stays with the lessor.
Fixed operating costs, so-called because they accentuate variations in profits.
A relatively small percent increase or decrease in
sales volume that causes a much larger percent increase or decrease in
profit because fixed expenses do not change with small changes in sales
volume. Sales volume changes have a lever effect on profit. This effect
should be called sales volume leverage, but in practice it is called operating
The short-term liabilities generated by the operating
(profit-making) activities of a business. Most businesses have three types
of operating liabilities: accounts payable from inventory purchases and
from incurring expenses, accrued expenses payable for unpaid expenses,
and income tax payable. These short-term liabilities of a business are
non-interest-bearing, although if not paid on time a business may be
assessed a late-payment penalty that is in the nature of an interest
the proportionate relationship between
a company’s variable and fixed costs
Degree to which costs are fixed.
Operating Line of Credit
A bank's commitment to make loans to a particular borrower up to a specified maximum for a specified period, usually one year.
A loan advanced under an operating line of credit.
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.
See earnings before interest and income tax (EBIT).
Operating profit margin
The ratio of operating margin to net sales.
The inherent or fundamental risk of a firm, without regard to financial risk. The risk that is
created by operating leverage. Also called business risk.
operating risk (business risk)
Risk in firm’s operating income.
Operational Earnings Management
Management actions taken in the effort to create stable
financial performance by acceptable, voluntary business decisions. An example: a special discount
promotion to increase flagging sales near the end of a quarter when targets are not being met.
earnings before the effects of any earnings-management activities.
price-earnings (P/E) multiple (ratio)
Ratio of stock price to earnings per share.
Price / Earnings (P/E) Ratio
The ratio of price to earnings. Faster growing or less-risky firms typically have higher P/E ratios than either slower-growing or more risky firms.
Price/earnings ratio (PE ratio)
Shows the "multiple" of earnings at which a stock sells. Determined by dividing current
stock price by current earnings per share (adjusted for stock splits). earnings per share for the P/E ratio is
determined by dividing earnings for past 12 months by the number of common shares outstanding. Higher
"multiple" means investors have higher expectations for future growth, and have bid up the stock's price.
price/earnings ratio (price to earnings ratio, P/E ratio, PE ratio)
This key ratio equals the current market price
of a capital stock share divided by the earnings per share (EPS) for the
stock. The EPS used in this ratio may be the basic EPS for the stock or its
diluted EPS—you have to check to be sure about this. A low P/E may signal
an undervalued stock or may reflect a pessimistic forecast by
investors for the future earnings prospects of the business. A high P/E
may reveal an overvalued stock or reflect an optimistic forecast by
investors. The average P/E ratio for the stock market as a whole varies
considerably over time—from a low of about 8 to a high of about 30.
This is quite a range of variation, to say the least.
Price to Earnings Ratio (P/E, PE Ratio)
A measure of how much investors are willing to pay for each dollar
of a company's reported profits. It is calculated by dividing the
market price per share by the earnings per share.
Reported net income with selected nonrecurring items of revenue or gain
and expense or loss deducted from or added back, respectively, to reported net income. Occasionally
selected nonoperating or noncash items are also treated as adjustment items.
Real Actions (Earnings) Management
Involves operational steps and not simply acceleration
or delay in the recognition of revenue or expenses. The delay or acceleration of shipment would
be an example.
Accounting earnings that are retained by the firm for reinvestment in its operations;
earnings that are not paid out as dividends.
Profits a company plowed back into the business over the years. Last January’s retained earnings, plus the net income or profit that a company made this year (which is calculated on the income statement), minus dividends paid out, equals the retained earnings balance on the balance sheet date.
The residual earnings of the company.
A company’s accumulated earnings since its inception, less any distributions to shareholders.
earnings not paid out as dividends.
Net profits kept to accumulate in a business after dividends are paid.
Roth IRA. An IRA account whose earnings are not taxable at all under certain
Short-run operating activities
Events and decisions concerning the short-term finance of a firm, such as
how much inventory to order and whether to offer cash terms or credit terms to customers.
Statement of retained earnings
An adjunct to the balance sheet, providing more detailed information about the beginning balance, changes, and ending balance in
the retained earnings account during the reporting period.
Statement Retained Earnings
One of the basic financial statements; it takes the beginning balance of retained earnings and adds net income, then subtracts dividends. The Statement of Retained earnings is prepared for a specified period of time.
Reported earnings that have had the after-tax effects of all material
items of nonrecurring revenue or gain and expense or loss removed.
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.
As the term dividend relates to a corporation's earnings, a dividend is an amount paid per share from a corporation's after tax profits. Depending on the type of share, it may or may not have the right to earn any dividends and corporations may reduce or even suspend dividend payments if they are not doing well. Some dividends are paid in the form of additional shares of the corporation. Dividends paid by Canadian corporations qualify for the dividend tax credit and are taxed at lower rates than other income.
As the term dividend relates to a life insurance policy, it means that if that policy is "participating", the policy owner is entitled to participate in an equitable distribution of the surplus earnings of the insurance company which issued the policy. Surpluses arise primarily from three sources:
1) the difference between anticipated and actual operating expenses,
2) the difference between anticipated and actual claims experience, and
3) interest earned on investments over and above the rate required to maintain policy reserves. Having regard to the source of the surplus, the "dividend" so paid can be considered, in part at least, as a refund of part of the premium paid by the policy owner.
Life insurance policy owners of participating policies usually have four and sometimes five dividend options from which to choose:
1) take the dividend in cash,
2) apply the dividend to reduce current premiums,
3) leave the dividends on deposit with the insurance company to accumulate at interest like a savings plan,
4) use the dividends to purchase paid-up whole life insurance to mature at the same time as the original policy,
5) use the dividends to purchase one year term insurance equal to the guaranteed cash value at the end of the policy year, with any portion of the dividend not required for this purpose being applied under one of the other dividend options.
NOTE: It is suggested here that if you have a participating whole life policy and at the time of purchase received a "dividend projection" of incredible future savings, ask for a current projection. Life insurance company's surpluses are not what they used to be.
The equity (ownership) capital of a business can serve
as the basis for securing debt capital (borrowing money). In this way, a
business increases the total capital available to invest in its assets and
can make more sales and more profit. The strategy is to earn operating
profit, or earnings before interest and income tax (EBIT), on the capital
supplied from debt that is more than the interest paid on the debt capital.
A financial leverage gain equals the EBIT earned on debt capital
minus the interest on the debt. A financial leverage gain augments earnings
on equity capital. A business must earn a rate of return on its assets
(ROA) that is greater than the interest rate on its debt to make a financial
leverage gain. If the spread between its ROA and interest rate is unfavorable,
a business suffers a financial leverage loss.
Free cash flows
Cash not required for operations or for reinvestment. Often defined as earnings before
interest (often obtained from operating income line on the income statement) less capital expenditures less the
change in working capital.
An accounting statement that summarizes information about a company in the following format:
– Cost of goods sold
– operating expenses
earnings before income tax
– Income tax
= Net income or (Net loss)
Formally called a “consolidated earnings statement,” it covers a period of time such as a quarter or a year.
The relationship between interest bearing debt and equity in a company(financial leverage) or the effect of fixed expense on after tax earnings(operating leverage).
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).
earnings after removing the effects of nonrecurring or nonoperating items.
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