What is Earnings Per Share EPS? Meaning, Formula + Example


EPS is a financial ratio, which divides net earnings available to common shareholders by the average outstanding shares over a certain period of time. The EPS formula indicates a company’s ability to produce net profits for common shareholders. Earnings per share ratio can serve as a critical metric for evaluating a company’s profitability from a compliance standpoint.

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  2. Opposite to that, a business with a P/E of 5 indicates that the market is only willing to invest in the business if the return on their investment occurs within a short period of time.
  3. Due to negative EPS, many investors are hesitant to invest in a company with a negative EPS.
  4. In addition, many companies include additional items such as significant gains or losses and possible share dilution, which we’ll discuss further.
  5. To help him make a decision, Peter decides to compare the earnings per share of both companies.

The resulting number serves as an indicator of a company’s profitability. It is common for a company to report EPS that is adjusted for extraordinary items and potential share dilution. Earnings per share or EPS in share market is a profitability measure that investors define as the value of earnings per outstanding share of common stock. Generally, it is advisable to look for companies with higher EPS stocks. Companies use Earnings Per Share as a key financial metric to assess their profitability and financial health. They calculate it by dividing the earnings available to common shareholders by the Weighted Average Number of Shares Outstanding.

EPS is reported on a company’s income statement and is an important metric used by investors and analysts to evaluate a company’s financial health and profitability. For this reason, carefully reading the financial statements notes will provide guidance into any the existence of these securities and how they would affect the current number of outstanding shares. When calculating the EPS, you’ll need the company’s balance sheet and income statements to find the common shares, dividends paid on stocks, and net income.

However, assume that this company closed 100 stores over that period and ended the year with 400 stores. An analyst will want to know what the EPS was for just the 400 stores the company plans to continue with into the next period. EPS stands among several indicators available for stock selection within the compliance framework.

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Remember that interest on bonds payable is a tax-deductible expense while dividends on preferred shares are not. Finally, for stock options and warrants, we must only consider options that are “in-the-money.” They refer to options in which the exercise price is lower than the average market price of the shares. Note that many companies do not have preferred shares, and for those companies, there are no preferred dividends that need to be deducted. The reason preferred dividends are deducted is what is a trial balance report that EPS represents only the earnings available to common shareholders, and preferred dividends need to be paid out before common shareholders receive anything. Diluted EPS, on the other hand, will always be equal to or lower than basic EPS because it includes a more expansive definition of the company’s shares outstanding. Specifically, it incorporates shares that are not currently outstanding but could become outstanding if stock options and other convertible securities were to be exercised.

From that starting point, the diluted shares are determined by compiling a company’s potentially dilutive securities such as options, warrants, restricted stock units (RSUs), and convertible debt instruments. The net earnings of a company in a given period – i.e. net income (the “bottom line”) – can either be reinvested into operations or distributed to common shareholders in the form of dividend issuances. The earnings per share metric, often abbreviated as “EPS”, https://intuit-payroll.org/ determines how much of a company’s accounting profit is attributable to each common share outstanding. Diluted EPS includes options, convertible securities, and warrants outstanding that can affect total shares outstanding when exercised. When earnings per share are low or on a decline, it indicates that a company is less inclined to share its profits with shareholders through dividends. A high EPS ratio can indicate that investors have overvalued a company.

Why is Earnings per Share (EPS) important to investors in evaluating a company’s profitability?

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. Instead, investors will compare EPS with the share price of the stock to determine the value of earnings and how investors feel about future growth. Although many investors don’t pay much attention to the EPS, a higher earnings per share ratio often makes the stock price of a company rise. Since so many things can manipulate this ratio, investors tend to look at it but don’t let it influence their decisions drastically.

Many companies today issue stock options and warrants to their employees as part of their benefits package. Would such a benefit be appealing to you or are they simply a marketing tactic? Although the benefits can prove to be useful, they also come with limitations.

Formula and Calculation For EPS

The day trading world responded enthusiastically to this major beat, and the stock closed more than 21% higher the next day. If a company’s most recent quarterly EPS is $0.12, and its EPS in the same quarter last year was $0.09, then it has a quarterly year-over-year EPS growth rate of 33%. Quarterly year-over-year EPS growth is a company’s most recent quarterly EPS divided by its EPS from the same quarter the prior year, minus 1. Annual EPS growth is a company’s EPS over the last year divided by its EPS over the prior year, minus 1. Our goal is to deliver the most understandable and comprehensive explanations of financial topics using simple writing complemented by helpful graphics and animation videos.

Understanding Basic Earnings Per Share

To learn more, see our Fee Schedule, Order Flow Rebate FAQ, and Order Flow Rebate Program Terms & Conditions. Even if you look at EPS trends, you need to dig deeper to understand why a company’s EPS is rising or falling. Knowing a company’s EPS can be helpful when you’re investing, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle.

Price to Book Ratio

Typically, an average number is used because companies may issue or buy back stock throughout the year and that makes the actual outstanding shares and true earnings per share difficult to pin down. Using an average of outstanding shares can provide an accurate picture of the earnings for the company. Analyzing EPS trends over time can provide insight into a company’s financial performance and potential for growth. If a company’s EPS is consistently increasing over several periods, it may be a sign that the company is growing its earnings and, therefore, its potential for future growth. Analyzing EPS trends over time can also provide valuable insights into a company’s financial health.

Examples of convertible securities are convertible bonds, preferred stock, and employee stock options. It is calculated from net income by subtracting preferred dividends and then dividing the result by the weighted average shares outstanding. The EPS figure is important because it is used by investors and analysts to assess company performance, to predict future earnings, and to estimate the value of the company’s shares. The higher the EPS, the more profitable the company is considered to be and the more profits are available for distribution to its shareholders. Since we now have the beginning and ending number of common shares outstanding, the next step is to calculate the weighted average shares outstanding.

Comparing various profitability ratios is an effective way to assess profitability. For a more comprehensive profitability assessment, investors might consider alternative metrics such as diluted EPS or adjusted EPS. You shouldn’t ignore a company’s EPS — especially in relation to its previous performance and competitors. Instead, use it as one of the many screening criteria you consider when making investment decisions. The EPS can help you understand whether the company’s profits are increasing or decreasing over time.

The screenshot below is of the income statement of Apple (AAPL) from its 10-K filing for fiscal year ending 2022. The net dilution equals the gross new shares in each tranche less the shares repurchased. Access and download collection of free Templates to help power your productivity and performance.


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