What is EPS (Earnings Per Share): Meaning, Formula, and Types of EPS

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How do investors usually decide which stocks to buy or sell? There is a way that business owners use to communicate their financial performance to their stakeholders. It is done through EPS- Earnings Per Share. Now, what is EPS?

EPS is a key metric that shows how much profit a company makes for each share of its common stock. EPS is widely used by investors, analysts, and managers to evaluate and compare different companies or stocks. EPS also influences the stock price, dividends, and corporate decisions.

However, EPS is not as simple as it sounds. 

There are different types of EPS, different ways to calculate it, and different factors that affect it. EPS can also be manipulated, misinterpreted, or misunderstood by various parties.

In this blog, we will explain everything you need to know about earnings per share.

What is EPS in the Stock Market

Meaning of EPS: EPS stands for earnings per share. 

Earnings per share (EPS) is one of the most important financial ratios that investors use to evaluate a company’s performance and profitability. 

It’s a measure that shows how much profit a company makes for each share of its stock. 

What is the Earning Per Share Ratio

Now that you know what is EPS, it is important for you to understand the earning per share ratio.

The earnings per share ratio (EPS ratio) compares the EPS of different companies or stocks. It assesses relative profitability and value within the same industry or market.

You calculate it by dividing one company’s EPS by another’s. 

  • A higher ratio means higher profitability and value. 
  • Conversely, a lower ratio suggests lower profitability and value.

How to Calculate EPS- Earnings Per Share Formula 

To understand the process of calculating EPS, you need to know the Earning Per Share Formula:

EPS= Net Income−Preferred Dividends/Outstanding Common Shares

  • Net Income: This is the profit a company makes after deducting all expenses, taxes, and interest from its total revenue.
  • Preferred dividends: The payments that a company makes to its preferred shareholders, who have a higher claim on the company’s assets and earnings than common shareholders.
  • Total Number of Outstanding Shares: This represents the total number of shares that investors own in the company.

Types of EPS

Here’s a table that briefs the various types of EPS- Earning per share in the stock market.

Types of EPSExplanation
Basic EPSReflects the company’s net income available to common shareholders divided by the weighted average number of common shares outstanding.
Diluted EPSAccounts for potential dilution of shares from stock options, convertible securities, or other financial instruments that could be converted into common stock.
Trailing EPSRepresents the company’s earnings per share over the past 12 months, providing a historical perspective.
Forward EPSEstimates a company’s future earnings per share, offering insights into its anticipated financial performance.

Overview of Types of EPS

Basic EPS

Basic EPS is a key metric that shows how much profit a company earns for each outstanding share. It’s calculated by dividing the company’s net income by the weighted average number of common shares.

Diluted EPS

Diluted EPS considers the potential dilution of shares from securities like stock options or convertible bonds. It provides a more conservative measure of earnings per share by assuming all possible conversions.

Trailing EPS

Trailing EPS looks at a company’s earnings per share over the past 12 months. It provides a historical view of a company’s performance, allowing investors to assess its consistency and trend over time.

Forward EPS

Forward EPS is an estimate of a company’s future earnings per share. It gives investors an insight into the expected financial performance, helping them make decisions based on anticipated growth or challenges.

Understanding these types of EPS can assist you in analysing a company’s financial health, potential risks, and growth prospects.

Basic EPS vs Diluted EPS

Basic EPS and diluted EPS both measure how much profit a company makes for each share of its common stock.

  • Basic EPS is calculated by dividing the company’s net income (minus preferred dividends) by the number of outstanding common shares. 

It doesn’t consider the impact of convertible securities like options or convertible debt.

  • Diluted EPS is calculated by dividing the net income (minus preferred dividends) by the number of outstanding common shares plus all dilutive securities. 

It includes the potential increase in shares if all convertible securities are exercised.

The main difference: Diluted EPS assumes all convertible securities are exercised, making it a more conservative measure than basic EPS. Diluted EPS is always lower than or equal to basic EPS.

Basic EPSDiluted EPS
Shows company’s profit per shareAdjusts for potential dilution from stock options, convertible bonds, etc.
Calculation: Net income divided by total common shares outstanding.Calculation: Adjusted net income divided by total potential common shares outstanding, considering options, convertible securities, etc.
Provides a straightforward measure of earnings per share.Provides a more conservative measure, accounting for maximum potential dilution.

Importance of Earnings Per Share

EPS tells you how much money a company earns for each share you own. 

If a company has a high EPS, it means it’s making a good profit for each share.

  1. Shows How Well a Company Makes Money: EPS tells us how much profit each share of a company’s stock brings in.
  1. Helps Compare Companies: It lets investors see how one company’s earnings per share stack up against others in the same industry.
  1. Estimates Stock’s Worth: EPS helps figure out how much a company’s stock might be worth.
  1. Decides Dividends: It helps companies decide how much of their earnings they can share with shareholders as dividends.
  1. Shows Financial Strength: A higher EPS can show that a company is strong financially.

A few Things to Keep in Mind: EPS in the Share Market

  1. Numbers Can Be Changed: Sometimes, companies can make their EPS look better through accounting tricks.
  2. Doesn’t Tell the Whole Story: EPS doesn’t tell us everything about how reliable a company’s earnings are.
  3. Use It Carefully: Investors should look at EPS along with other things to make smart choices about investing. 

This can be good for you as a shareholder because it could mean you might get more dividends, or the value of your shares might go up. 

So, the higher the EPS, the better for investors.

What Is a Good EPS?

What makes a good EPS depends on factors like recent company performance, competitor status, and analyst predictions. 

Even if EPS rises, stock prices could fall if analysts expect higher earnings. 

Conversely, if analysts expected worse, a decreasing EPS might still lead to a price increase. 

A good EPS is always evaluated alongside share price, including metrics like P/E ratio and earnings yield.

FAQs| Earnings Per Share

What is a good EPS ratio?

A good EPS ratio depends on the company’s performance, industry, and market expectations. EPS ratio can be compared with similar companies or historical trends to assess the company’s financial health.

What is the use of EPS?

EPS is used to calculate a company’s profitability on a per-share basis. It is a widely used metric for estimating corporate value and comparing different stocks. It can help investors evaluate the return and risk of investing in a company’s shares.

What is EPS meaning?

EPS stands for earnings per share. It is calculated by dividing a company’s net income (minus preferred dividends) by the number of common shares outstanding.


Disclaimer: Investments in the securities market are subject to market risks; read all the related documents carefully before investing.