EPS Formula: Earnings Per Share Calculation

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  • 07 Jun 2023

When assessing a company's financial health, one crucial metric that investors often consider is Earnings Per Share (EPS). EPS provides valuable insights into a company's profitability by revealing how much profit is allocated to each outstanding share of common stock. So, what is EPS, its formula, and significance? Let's find out.

EPS is a financial ratio that goes beyond just looking at a company's overall earnings. It focuses on breaking down those earnings on a per-share basis, allowing you to understand the profitability associated with each individual share of common stock. In other words, EPS shows how much profit a company generates for each outstanding share.

By calculating EPS, you can assess the company's profitability and evaluate its potential returns. This ratio enables you to compare companies within the same industry and determine which ones generate higher profits per share. A higher EPS indicates that a company utilizes its resources effectively to increase shareholder earnings.

Now that you know what EPS is, let's see the formula used to derive it. The earnings per share formula is as follows:

EPS = (Net Income - Preferred Dividends) / Average Outstanding Shares, where:

  • Net income represents the company's total earnings after accounting for expenses, taxes, interest, and preferred dividends. It is there in the company's income or profit and loss statements.

  • Preferred dividends are paid to preferred stockholders who hold a different class of shares than common stockholders. Preferred dividends get deducted from net income because they are distributed before any earnings are allocated to common stockholders.

  • Average number of outstanding shares during the reporting period is the total number of shares issued by the company and held by investors. The average outstanding shares can be calculated by taking the sum of the beginning and ending outstanding shares and dividing it by two.

So, as per the earnings per share calculation formula, if a company has a net income of Rs. 50 lakhs and has to pay dividends worth Rs. 5 lakhs with Rs. 10 lakh average outstanding shares, its EPS stands at:

EPS = (50,00, 000 - 5,00,000)/10, 00,000 = Rs. 4.5 per share

EPS Significance

EPS holds significant importance for investors and financial analysts due to the following reasons:

  • Measure of Profitability

EPS provides a per-share perspective of a company's profitability. By comparing the EPS figures of different companies within the same industry, investors can gauge which companies are generating higher profits per share.

  • Assessing Growth

Changes in EPS over time can indicate a company's growth trajectory. Increasing EPS over consecutive periods suggests that the company is becoming more profitable, which can attract potential investors.

  • Investment Decision-making

Investors often utilize EPS as a factor in their investment decision-making process. Higher EPS figures may influence investors to purchase or hold shares, indicating potential dividends and capital appreciation.

  • Comparative Analysis

EPS allows for easy comparison between companies of different sizes. By considering EPS rather than total earnings, investors can compare companies' relative profitability, regardless of their market capitalization.

  • Basic EPS: Basic EPS is the most commonly used type of EPS. It is computed by dividing the company's net income with the weighted average number of outstanding common shares during a specific period.

  • Diluted EPS: Diluted EPS considers the potential dilution of earnings per share from the conversion of convertible securities, such as stock options, convertible bonds, or preferred shares. It provides a more conservative measure of EPS by assuming that all potentially dilutive securities are converted into common shares.

  • Trailing EPS: Trailing EPS is based on historical data and represents the earnings per share over the past four quarters or the most recent fiscal year. It provides a backward-looking perspective on a company's profitability.

  • GAAP EPS: GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) EPS represents the earnings per share calculated in accordance with the standard accounting principles of the country where the company operates. It ensures consistency and comparability in financial reporting.

  • Forward EPS: Forward EPS, also known as projected or estimated EPS, provides an estimate of a company's future earnings per share. It is often based on analysts' forecasts and can help investors gauge the company's expected performance.

  • Adjusted EPS: Adjusted EPS is derived by adjusting the reported net income to exclude certain one-time or non-recurring items, such as restructuring charges, profits or losses from the sale of assets, or extraordinary expenses. It aims to provide a clearer view of the company's ongoing or core profitability.

EPS Limitations

It is important to remember that EPS can be influenced by various factors, including a company's policy changes. For instance, when a company decides to buy back its shares or undergo mergers and acquisitions, it can impact EPS figures. These events can alter the number of outstanding shares or change the earnings structure, affecting the calculation of EPS.

Furthermore, it's essential to recognize that different companies may employ their own unique accounting methods or principles. As a result, EPS figures from one company may not be directly comparable to those of another. Variations in reporting standards or accounting practices can lead to discrepancies in EPS calculations, making it necessary to exercise caution when comparing companies.

To Sum Up

EPS is a valuable tool for investors to assess a company's profitability and make informed investment decisions. By examining the EPS formula and understanding its components, you can gain insights into a company's financial performance on a per-share basis. Remember that EPS should be evaluated in conjunction with other financial metrics and qualitative factors to form a comprehensive view of a company's prospects.


EPS stands for Earnings Per Share. It is a financial ratio that represents the portion of a company's earnings allocated to each outstanding share of common stock.

EPS is arrived at by dividing the net income (after deducting preferred dividends) by the average outstanding shares during a specific period. The formula is: EPS = (Net Income - Preferred Dividends) / Average Outstanding Shares.

Yes, EPS can be influenced by changes in company policies. For example, share buybacks, mergers, and acquisitions can impact the number of outstanding shares or alter the earnings structure, affecting the calculation of EPS.

EPS figures may not always be directly comparable across different companies. Each company may have its own accounting methods or principles, which can result in variations in EPS calculations. It is important to consider these differences when making comparisons.

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