Earnings and EPS: Everything Investors Need to Know

How to get earnings per share

The earnings per share (EPS) reported by a company per GAAP accounting standards can be found near the bottom of a company’s income statement, right below net income. On a fully diluted basis, our company has a total of 180 million shares outstanding. The difference between the basic earnings per share and diluted earnings per share is that the latter adjusts for the net impact from potentially dilutive securities.

  1. The forward EPS is calculated using projections for some period of time in the future (usually the coming four quarters).
  2. Before earnings reports come out, stock analysts issue earnings estimates (an estimate of the number they think earnings will hit).
  3. Although EPS is widely used as a way to track a company’s performance, shareholders do not have direct access to those profits.
  4. For example, they may compare the forward EPS (that uses projections) with the company’s actual EPS for the current quarter.

Dan wants to be sure he diversifies his investments sufficiently as he plans for retirement, so he begins researching stocks that look like they have growth potential. After researching company XYZ extensively, Dan wants to see how its EPS ratio stacks up to similar businesses in the industry before moving forward. His research shows XYZ has a net income of $5 million, preferred share dividends of $1.5 million and 700,000 total common shares outstanding. Since this ratio has been steadily on the rise in recent years and compares favorably to others in the industry, Dan decides XYZ is a sound investment.

What Is EPS?

Earnings are ultimately a measure of the money a company makes and are often evaluated in terms of earnings per share (EPS), the most important indicator of a company’s financial health. Earnings reports are released four times per year and are followed very closely by Wall Street. Investors can track the schedule of earnings reports for publically traded companies through their broker, the Nasdaq calendar, and the SEC’s EDGAR system.

How to get earnings per share

Essentially, the EPS ratio indicates how much of a company’s net income would be earned per share if all profits were paid out to shareholders. Basic EPS consists of the company’s net income divided by its outstanding shares. It is the figure most commonly reported in the financial media and is also the simplest definition of EPS. The formula in the table above calculates the basic EPS of each of these select companies. Basic EPS does not factor in the dilutive effect of shares that could be issued by the company.

Company Earnings and EPS: Everything Investors Need to Know

Also, a company’s P/E can be benchmarked against other stocks in the same industry or the S&P 500 Index. Sometimes an adjustment to the numerator is required when calculating a fully diluted EPS. For example, sometimes a lender will provide a loan that allows them to convert the debt into shares under certain conditions. In this case, the company or analyst will add the interest paid on convertible debt back into the numerator of the EPS calculation so the result isn’t distorted.

How to get earnings per share

For instance, if the company’s net income was increased based on a one-time sale of a building, the analyst might deduct the proceeds from that sale, thereby reducing net income. Shareholders might be misled if the windfall is included in the numerator of the EPS equation, so it is excluded. To better illustrate the effects of additional securities on per-share earnings, companies also report the diluted EPS, which assumes that all shares that could be outstanding have been issued. The number of shares repurchased is calculated by taking the strike price multiplied by the new shares—divided by the market share price.

Formula and Calculation for Earnings Per Share (EPS)

Although EPS is widely used as a way to track a company’s performance, shareholders do not have direct access to those profits. A portion of the earnings may be distributed as a dividend, but all or a portion of the EPS can be retained by the company. Shareholders, through their representatives on the board of directors, would have to change the portion of EPS that is distributed through dividends to access more of those profits. Comparing EPS in absolute terms may not have much meaning to investors because ordinary shareholders do not have direct access to the earnings.

What Is Earnings Per Share (EPS)?

However, the 18.92 P/E multiple by itself isn’t helpful unless you have something to compare it with, such as the stock’s industry group, a benchmark index, or Bank of America’s historical P/E range. No single ratio will tell an investor everything they need to know about a stock. Investors should use a variety of financial ratios to assess the value of a stock.

To compare the earnings of different companies, investors and analysts often use the ratio earnings per share (EPS). To calculate EPS, take the earnings left over for shareholders and divide by the number of shares outstanding. Since we now have the beginning and ending number of common shares outstanding, the next step is to calculate the weighted average shares outstanding. The earnings per share (EPS) ratio is an important metric used by analysts and traders to establish the financial strength of a company.

EPS, or earnings per share, is a financial figure studied by investors, traders, and analysts. It is used to draw conclusions about a company’s earnings stability over time, its financial strength, and its potential performance. This measurement figures into the earnings portion of the price-earnings (P/E) valuation ratio. The P/E ratio is one of the most common ratios utilized by investors to determine whether a company’s stock price is valued properly relative to its earnings.

The P/E ratio reflects what the market is willing to pay today for a stock based on its past or future earnings. However, the P/E ratio can mislead investors, because past earnings do not guarantee future earnings will be the same. The section will contain the EPS figures on a basic and diluted basis, as well as the share counts used to compute the EPS. Therefore, to summarize the net impact on the earnings per share (EPS) line item, new stock issuances cause a company’s EPS to decline, whereas stock buybacks result in an artificially higher EPS. Stock buybacks and new stock issuance are two methods for publicly-traded companies (post-IPO) to directly impact their number of outstanding shares.

Example of P/E Ratio: Comparing Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase

The screenshot below is of the income statement of Apple (AAPL) from its 10-K filing for fiscal year ending 2022. Since the denominator is greater in the basic EPS, the diluted EPS is always less than the basic EPS from the higher share count. Ultimately, the company’s allocation of its net earnings is a discretionary decision determined by management and the board of directors, with the goal of maximizing shareholder value. The land on which one of the factories sits has become very valuable as new developments have surrounded it over the past few years.

It happens four times per year; publicly traded companies in the U.S. are required by law to report their financial results on a quarterly basis. Most companies follow the calendar year for reporting, but they do have the option of reporting based on their own fiscal calendars. Suppose we’re tasked with calculating the earnings per share (EPS) of a company that reported $250 million in net income for fiscal year 2021.

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