What is Basic EPS?
Basic EPS is a simple profitability calculation to find out the earnings of a company per every common share and tells the common shareholders how much of the available income is associated with the shares they own.
Basic EPS Formula
The formula is given below –
The current year’s preferred dividends are subtracted from net income because EPS refers to earnings available to the common shareholder. Common stock dividends are not subtracted from net income.
We note from the above chart that Starbucks EPS has increased substantially over the past 5 years. What does this mean, and how does is this useful for investors? In this article, we discuss this concept in detail.
Starbucks Basic EPS Calculation
Let us take the example of Starbucks.
- Net Earnings of Starbucks in 2017 = $2,884.7 million
- Weighted average common shares 2017 = 1,449.5 million
- Basic EPS = $2,884.7/1,449.5 = $1.99
- Net Earnings of Starbucks in 2017 = $2,817.7 million
- Weighted average common shares 2017 = 1,471.6 million
- Basic EPS = $2,817.7/1,471.6 = $1.91
source – Starbucks 10K filings
How useful is basic earnings per share to the investors?
- EPS is one of the best measures of profitability. As a result, every investor looks at EPS before they ever decide to invest in the company. And it gives them a clear idea about what to expect from the company in the near future. However, only looking at basic EPS won’t offer them the right insights. They also should look at all the financial statements and find out the ratios from the data points they could gather.
- It is pretty easy to prepare. You need to grab an income statement of the company and the balance sheet. Take the net income from the income statement, deduct the preferred dividend (if any) and then divide the figure by the outstanding equity shares. And you will get a figure to look up.
- If you have been thinking of investing in any one of the companies, you can look at the EPS of each company and then decide which company provides more value per share. You can compare and understand, which makes the decision-making process easier.
- It is also used in the relative valuation method. It helps figure out the price-earnings ratio of a comparable company.
- Since it is the indicator of how much net profit has been earned, if a company has higher basic earnings per share, it is considered that the net profit of the company is also higher.
Basic Earnings Per Share – A closer look
When you compare the EPS of two companies, you need to look at an important aspect.
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- Let’s say you’re looking at Company A and Company B. You found that the EPS of both of these companies is $5 per share.
- If you conclude that both of these companies are performing similarly, it wouldn’t be the right interpretation.
- Let’s say Company A has 10,000 outstanding shares and the net profit (no preferred dividend given) is $50,000.
- And let’s also say that Company B has 2000 outstanding shares and the net profit (no preferred dividend paid) is $10,000.
- Both of these cases will portray that they have the same basic EPS, but are they similar in net profits? No. Company A makes more profit than Company B. Since Company B has fewer outstanding shares, it seems that it has been doing quite well.
While looking at a company and its EPS, you should look into the net profit and the outstanding equity shares separately.
Basic EPS is a great measure of profitability. There’s no doubt about it. But one thing you should know that EPS alone can’t depict a great deal about a company’s financial health.
Yes, it can talk about how much net profit a company has been earning, whether a company has been generating higher profits, and also whether one company is doing better than another company in terms of earnings per share.
But since the company has been preparing the income statement and the balance sheet, there’s a chance that the company has manipulated the data to showcase a good reputation to its potential investors.
That’s why you should look at P/E Ratio (Price/Earnings Ratio) also along with basic EPS. Plus, you should also look at other financial ratios like Return on Total Assets, ROCE, Diluted EPS, and the statement like cash flow statement and fund flow statement.
Basic EPS Video
This is a guide to what is Basic EPS and its meaning. Here we discuss the formula to calculate basic earnings per share along with practical examples and its usefulness to investors. You may also have a look at these articles below to enhance your understanding about Profitability