What is Earnings per Share (EPS) and How Does It Impact a Company's Financial Performance?


Earnings per Share (EPS) is a key indicator of a company's financial performance. It helps investors to assess the potential return on their investments and also serves to compare the performance of different companies over time. The ratio is calculated by dividing the net profit of the company by the total number of outstanding fully-diluted shares.

Definition of earnings per share

EPS represents the amount of a company’s net income that is allocated to each share of its common stock. It expresses the profitability of a company to its shareholders. A higher EPS value indicates that a company is more profitable, while a lower value suggests that the company is less profitable.

What the value of EPS indicates

  • The EPS ratio reveals how much money the shareholders would receive, if the company was to distribute all of its profits to them.
  • Investors compare this ratio with the earnings of other companies in the same industry, in order to analyze the financial health of a company.
  • EPS is taken into account to evaluate the value of a company’s stock. A higher EPS value indicates that the stock price of the company will likely increase, while a lower EPS value suggests that the price of the company’s stock could decrease.

Analyzing Your Earnings

Calculating earnings per share (EPS) is important when looking to gain an understanding of a company's profitability and earning potential. EPS is the ratio of a company's net income relative to the number of shares issued. This ratio indicates how much profit each share is entitled to receive; the higher the EPS, the more profitable the company is.

Calculating Net Income

In order to calculate a company's net income, the number of revenues earned must first be determined. Revenues are typically recorded in the company's income statement; they represent the total amount of income generated from the sale of goods and services. Once the total revenues earned have been calculated, any associated expenses must be subtracted in order to arrive at the company's net income.

Working Out the Average Number of Shares in Issue

The total number of shares can fluctuate over time, due to changes in the company's share capital. As such, the average number of shares in issue is typically used when calculating EPS. In order to calculate this figure, the total number of shares should be divided by the number of years in the period being measured (i.e. annual or quarterly earnings). This figure can then be used when calculating earnings per share.

Once the company's net income and average number of shares in issue have been calculated, calculating earnings per share is a relatively straightforward process. The company's net income should be divided by the number of shares in issue in order to arrive at the company's EPS.

Calculating Earnings per Share (EPS)

EPS is an important measure used by professionals and investors to assess a company’s financial condition. It is calculated and used to measure the profitability of a company and the return it generates on each share of its common stock. It reveals the amount of money a company has made per share after deducting dividends, preferences, and other expenses.

Using the Net Income and Average Number of Shares in Issue

The simplest way to calculate the EPS figure is by taking the company's net income, subtracting any dividends paid to shareholders, and then dividing this amount by the total number of outstanding shares. Additionally, this method requires one to calculate the average of all shares issued in the period. To get the average of an issue of shares, one will have to add the number of outstanding shares at the start of the period and the number of shares issued at the end of the period and then divide the figure by two.

Formula for Determining EPS

To calculate the earnings per share (EPS) ratio, one will be using the following formula:

  • EPS = (Net Income - Preferred Dividends / Average Number of Shares Outstanding)

Where net income is the company's net income or profit, preferred dividends are the dividends paid out to preferred shareholders, and average number of shares outstanding is the average number of shares issued during the reporting period.

Common Earnings per Share Ratios

Earnings per share (EPS) is a key measure of a company’s performance and profitability. It gives investors an indication of the company’s capacity to generate return on their investments and is usually calculated to gauge the performance of its stock over specific time frames.

Basic EPS

Basic EPS is simply the company’s net income divided by the number of common outstanding shares. For instance, if a company had net income of $500,000 and common shares of 30,000, then its basic EPS would be $16.67 ($500,000 / 30,000).

Diluted EPS

Diluted EPS takes into account the potential dilution of the company’s shares. It is calculated by adjusting the company’s net income and the number of common outstanding shares for any dilution in the shares that may occur due to conversion of convertible securities, such as warrants and convertible bonds. In this case, the number of common outstanding shares would be adjusted for the number of convertible securities. For instance, if a company had net income of $500,000, common shares of 30,000, and convertible securities of 10,000, then its diluted EPS would be $14.29 ($500,000 / (30,000 + 10,000)).

Benefits of the Earnings Per Share Ratio

Investors frequently use the earnings per share (EPS) ratio to compare and assess the financial health of various companies. This ratio can also be used to analyze a company’s stock performance over a certain period of time.

Comparing Financial Health

The EPS ratio gives investors a glimpse into a company’s profitability. EPS can help investors compare the profitability of one company to another and assess which company is likely to be more successful in the future. By dividing the company’s net income by the number of outstanding shares of the company’s stock, investors can easily calculate how much each share is earning.

Analyzing Stock Performance

EPS can also be used to gauge the performance of a stocks over a set period of time. By tracking the EPS over time, investors can note trends and identify areas where the stock is performing well or poorly.

The EPS ratio is a valuable ratio for investors as it helps them assess the financial health of various companies and compare the performance of stocks.

  • Comparing financial health
  • Analyzing stock performance

Pitfalls of EPS Ratios

Earnings per Share (EPS) ratios are a popular measure of company profitability, but it is important to understand their limitations before interpreting the results. Below are some common pitfalls to consider when interpreting EPS ratios.

Short-term Fluctuations

Changes in a company's earnings from quarter to quarter can often be highly volatile. As a result, using a single quarter's EPS number to represent the company's profitability can be misleading and be reflective of a specific event or trend that may not be indicative of the company's long term health. To combat this issue, investors should aim to look at EPS over a longer period of time to eliminate any short-term fluctuations.

Accounting Methods Used

The EPS ratio takes into consideration the company's net income, which is highly dependent on the accounting methods used. These accounting methods can vary depending on the company, and some are more aggressive and tend to overestimate a company's financial position than others. As a result, it is important to understand the accounting methods used when interpreting EPS ratios.

  • Companies that use aggressive accounting methods tend to report higher EPS than those that use conservative methods.
  • EPS can also be impacted by a company's tax strategies, which could affect the amount of income that is reported on the income statement.


Earnings per share ratios, or EPS, are critical measurements used by business owners, potential investors, and stockholders to evaluate a company’s financial performance. They provide a picture of a company’s profitability, help assess and compare a company’s success over a period of time and provide visibility on the effects of capital investments and acquisitions.

EPS measures can help savvy investors make more informed decisions about investments, guide CEOs and financial teams on where to allocate resources, and provide insight into the viability of new products and services being implemented. When researching any publicly-traded company, viewing the company’s EPS data should be the top priority.

Summary of Importance of EPS

EPS is one of the primary measurements of corporate performance, and it is often used in conjunction with other financial ratios to evaluate a corporation’s financial health. Investors have come to rely on EPS as one of the most important measurements when assessing the success of a publicly traded company and often use it to inform their buy and sell decisions.

Takeaways for Analyzing Financial Performance

  • EPS is one of the primary measures of profitability and can provide a good snapshot of a company’s overall financial performance.
  • EPS measures should be used in conjunction with other financial health indicators for more comprehensive analysis.
  • There is no single ‘best’ EPS ratio. Factors such as industry, size of the company, and overall market conditions should be taken into account when evaluating a company’s EPS.
  • EPS ratios can be used to compare one company to another, as well as to compare performance to the larger industry or market.

EPS ratios are an invaluable tool for investors, analysts, and business owners to evaluate the overall financial health of a company and make sound investment decisions. Understanding and analyzing this key financial metric is essential for any investor or business leader.

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