Board of Directors Terms & Definitions >
Earnings Per Share (EPS)

Earnings Per Share (EPS)


Earnings per share (EPS) is a financial measure that indicates the profit generated by a company on a per-share basis. It is calculated by dividing the net income of a company by the total number of outstanding shares of its common stock. EPS is an important metric that is often used by investors and analysts to evaluate the financial performance of a company and its potential for future growth. As a result, corporate boards of directors frequently review and discuss EPS figures when evaluating the financial health of the company and making decisions about dividend payouts and stock repurchases.

Board of Directors Terms: Earnings Per Share (EPS)

As an investor, it's important to understand the concept of earnings per share (EPS). This financial ratio reflects the amount of a company's profit that's allocated to each outstanding share of common stock. It's an essential metric that highlights a company's profitability, and it's one of the key indicators used by investors to evaluate a company's performance. In this article, we'll delve into the complex world of EPS and analyze everything you need to know about this important board of directors term.

What is Earnings Per Share (EPS)?

Earnings per share (EPS) is an essential financial metric that calculates the amount of earnings generated by a company, divided by the total number of outstanding shares of common stock. In simpler terms, EPS represents the amount of profit that each shareholder would receive if the company distributed its profits evenly among all outstanding shares. EPS is one of the most important metrics investors use to assess a company's profitability over time, and it's a crucial metric that analysts use to predict future earnings for a given company.

How is Earnings Per Share (EPS) Calculated?

EPS is calculated by dividing a company's net income by the total number of outstanding shares of common stock. This income includes all revenues earned by the company, minus any expenses related to taxes and debt payments. The EPS formula is straightforward: EPS = (Net Income - Preferred Stock Dividends)/Total number of outstanding shares of common stock. This formula helps to determine the company's profitability in terms of its shareholder wealth, which is essential for board of directors to track.

The Importance of Earnings Per Share (EPS) for Investors

Earnings per share is an essential metric that helps investors measure a company's profitability over time. The EPS statement is critical for investors, allowing them to evaluate a company's financial health and position in the market. It is a critical factor in assessing a company's overall financial performance, as investors use it to determine how much money they will receive for each outstanding share they own if the company generates profit. EPS is also a key determinant of stock prices, as it's one of the ways investors measure the intrinsic value of a company's stock.

Different Types of Earnings Per Share (EPS)

There are many types of earnings per share used in financial analysis. Some of the popular types include the basic EPS, diluted EPS, trailing 12-month EPS and forward EPS. The basic EPS takes into consideration the total outstanding shares of common stock, while the diluted EPS formula includes all dilutive securities such as options, convertible bonds, and warrants. In comparison, the trailing 12-month EPS calculates EPS for a company over the last 12 months, while the forward EPS uses past performance to predict a company's future earnings.

Understanding the Relationship Between Earnings Per Share (EPS) and Stock Price

There is a strong correlation between EPS and stock prices. In general, a company's EPS provides information on how much profit a company generates per unit of stock, and this metric is critical for determining the intrinsic value of a company's shares. EPS is one of the foundational drivers of the stock market, and a rise in EPS often leads to an increase in the value of a company's shares. Similarly, if EPS decreases, the market price of a company's shares may decrease as well.

How Companies Can Improve Their Earnings Per Share (EPS)

Companies can adopt several strategies to increase their EPS. These strategies include reducing costs, increasing revenue, or a combination of both. For example, cost-cutting measures, expanding or acquiring new businesses, or increasing profit margins, are some common strategies among firms that are working to increase their earnings per share. However, it's crucial to note that EPS should not come at the expense of long-term growth and stability.

Limitations and Risks Associated with Earnings Per Share (EPS)

While EPS is an essential metric for board of directors and investors, it comes with certain limitations and risks. EPS can be manipulated using accounting tricks and techniques, which can give a false impression of a company's financial health. Moreover, since EPS reflects the net income of a company, it may not reveal the complete picture of a company's financial health, especially when it comes to cash flow or operational expenses. Profitability can be subjected to volatility in the market and competition. It's critical to analyze EPS alongside other financial metrics for transparency and wider understanding.

Comparing Company Performance Using Earnings Per Share (EPS)

EPS is a key metric that allows investors to compare a company's financial performance against competitors. When analyzing two or more companies within an industry, EPS is one of the key metrics to pay attention to since it highlights the difference between their profitability. A company with a higher EPS might be considered a better investment opportunity compared to its competitors within the same industry. Thus, board of directors must use EPS well if they want to succeed in running their business.

The Role of the Board of Directors in Monitoring Earnings Per Share (EPS)

The board of directors plays a crucial role in monitoring EPS and ensuring that the company is tracking its financial performance according to the company's long-term objectives. They are responsible for making critical decisions regarding the company's financial health and should work alongside financial advisors and investors to ensure that the financial metrics used for analysis are accurate and reliable. They should implement strategies that can drive the company's profitability and provide strategic guidance on the implementation of new business plans or investment opportunities that could affect the company's EPS ratio.


In conclusion, earnings per share (EPS) is a critical financial metric that reflects a company's profitability. It's used by board of directors, investors, and analysts alike to assess a company's financial health and position in the market continuously. However, it's essential to remember that EPS is one of many metrics used in financial analysis, and it should be used alongside other metrics for a comprehensive view of the company's financial health. The board of directors plays a crucial role in monitoring EPS and making strategic decisions that can drive a company's profitability over time. By understanding EPS and its role in financial analysis, companies can make informed decisions that align with their long-term objectives.

Start an AdvisoryCloud

Join an advisory board