# How to Calculate Net Income From Retained Earnings

While higher ROE ought intuitively to imply higher stock prices, in reality, predicting the stock value of a company based on its ROE is dependent on too many other factors to be of use by itself. Net income, also called net profit, is a calculation that measures the amount of total revenues that exceed total expenses. It other words, it shows how much revenues are left over after all expenses have been paid. This is the amount of money that the company can save for a rainy day, use to pay off debt, invest in new projects, or distribute to shareholders.

The net income applicable to common shares figure on an income statement is the bottom-line profit belonging to the common stockholders, who are the ultimate owners, a company reported during the period being measured. (To get the basic earnings per share, orBasic EPS as it is commonly known, financial analysts divide the net income applicable to common by the total number of shares outstanding.

Small businesses may have losses in the first year or two of operations because it takes time to establish a market presence and generate enough revenues to cover costs. A loss does not necessarily mean a negative cash flow, just as a profit does not always mean a positive cash flow. This is due to accrual accounting rules, which require companies to record transactions in the period they occur, not when they receive or pay cash.

Gross profit is the first profitability figure that appears on an income statement. It equals sales less the direct costs required to acquire products for sale.

## net income available for common stock definition

In retail, direct costs are usually referred to as the cost of goods sold. Suppose the Acme Widget Company has \$2 million in sales for an accounting period.

ROE is especially used for comparing the performance of companies in the same industry. As with return on capital, a ROE is a measure of management’s ability to generate income from the equity available to it. ROE is also a factor in stock valuation, in association with other financial ratios.

This value provides investors with insights into all of the financial events that change the value of a stockholder’s ownership in the company. Depending on the underlying causes of a negative return, poor performance may be an indicator of inefficient management or an ineffective business model. Looking at long-term performance trends — whether the company has consistently grown its return on equity, or if it has decreased it over time — can help to determine long-term growth potential. In some cases, a company with a negative return could be a good opportunity, if other aspects of its financial situation show the prospect of longer-term growth. Finally, a negative return is usually reflected in a company’s stock price, as there is less demand for shares of a company that cannot generate a positive return.

Your net income equals \$2 million in revenue minus \$1.7 million in expenses, or \$300,000. Your earnings available for common stockholders equals \$300,000 in net income minus \$20,000 in preferred dividends, or \$280,000. This means each common stockholder has a claim on this \$280,000 in proportion to the number of shares he owns. If there are 1,000,000 shares, the earnings per share is 28 cents a share. Stockholders could elect to reinvest the earnings to improve the profitability of the company.

The DuPont formula, also known as the strategic profit model, is a common way to decompose ROE into three important components. Essentially, ROE will equal the net profit margin multiplied by asset turnover multiplied by financial leverage. Splitting return on equity into three parts makes it easier to understand changes in ROE over time. For example, if the net margin increases, every sale brings in more money, resulting in a higher overall ROE.

Although preferred stockholders receive dividends before common stockholders, they do not share in the rest of the profits; only common stockholders do. A company’s “earnings available for common stockholders” is the profit it has left over at the end of an accounting period after covering all expenses and paying dividends to preferred stockholders.

## Formula for Calculating the Earnings Available for Common Stockholders

• Because of tax advantages on debt issuance, it will be cheaper to issue debt rather than new equity (this is only true for profitable firms, tax breaks are available only to profitable firms).

Many people refer to this measurement as the bottom line because it generally appears at the bottom of theincome statement. Assume your small business generates \$2 million in total revenue during the year, has \$1.7 million in total expenses and pays \$20,000 in preferred dividends.

Miscellaneous items, such as interest earned on investments, legal judgments and other amounts not related to the firm’s primary operations, are also added or subtracted. Suppose Acme Widget Company has net costs in this category of \$100,000. Subtracting out from the operating profit of \$400,000 leaves you with \$300,000 in pretax profit. Again, divide by total sales of \$2 million to calculate the pretax profit margin of 15%.

## Earnings per Share

Businesses also calculate profit as a percentage of sales, which is referred to as the profit margin. Depreciation is the periodic allocation of a fixed asset’s costs over its useful life, which is substantially longer than a year. A common depreciation method is the straight-line method, in which the annual depreciation expense is the same each year. The depreciation accounting entries are to debit depreciation expense and credit accumulated depreciation, which reduces the book value of fixed assets on the balance sheet.

### What is net income applicable to common shares?

net income available for common stock definition. A corporation’s net income after income taxes minus the dividends pertinent to the preferred shares of stock (if any).

Similarly, if the asset turnover increases, the firm generates more sales for every unit of assets owned, again resulting in a higher overall ROE. Finally, increasing financial leverage means that the firm uses more debt financing relative to equity financing. Interest payments to creditors are tax-deductible, but dividend payments to shareholders are not.

Thus, a higher proportion of debt in the firm’s capital structure leads to higher ROE. Financial leverage benefits diminish as the risk of defaulting on interest payments increases. If the firm takes on too much debt, the cost of debt rises as creditors demand a higher risk premium, and ROE decreases. Increased debt will make a positive contribution to a firm’s ROE only if the matching return on assets (ROA) of that debt exceeds the interest rate on the debt. The Income Statement is one of a company’s core financial statements that shows their profit and loss over a period of time.

However, for projects outside the core business of the company, the current cost of capital may not be the appropriate yardstick to use, as the risks of the businesses are not the same. Return on Equity (ROE) is a measure of a company’s profitability that takes a company’s annual return (net income) divided by the value of its total shareholders’ equity (i.e. 12%). ROE combines the income statement and the balance sheet as the net income or profit is compared to the shareholders’ equity. Businesses must report information about sales and profits or losses each accounting period on the firm’s income statement. However, just listing the profit on sales may not tell you much about a company’s performance.

Earnings available for common stockholders equals net income minus preferred dividends. Expenses are the costs you incur in the same period, such as rent, payroll, interest and income taxes. Preferred dividends represent the portion of profits you distribute to preferred stockholders.

For example, a company that has a total equity investment of \$100,000 and a net earnings of \$8,000 would post an 8 percent return on equity. For an investment to be worthwhile, the expected return on capital has to be higher than the cost of capital. Given a number of competing investment opportunities, investors are expected to put their capital to work in order to maximize the return. In other words, the cost of capital is the rate of return that capital could be expected to earn in the best alternative investment of equivalent risk; this is the opportunity cost of capital. If a project is of similar risk to a company’s average business activities it is reasonable to use the company’s average cost of capital as a basis for the evaluation or cost of capital is a firm’s cost of raising funds.

Shareholder’s equity is the term investors use for all of the money that a business owes to its owners — the total amount invested in the business. Return on equity is a calculation that investors use to assess the performance of this investment. It is figured by taking the company’s net earnings — remaining revenues after subtracting expenses — as a percentage of the total amount invested in the company.

In general, gross income, also referred to as gross profit, is a business’s revenue minus the cost of the goods it sells. This type of income shows how much money a company has left over, after selling its products and accounting for the cost of goods, to pay the rest of its expenses. The net income of a company is the result of a number of calculations, beginning with revenue and encompassing all expenses and income streams for a given period. All the money that flows in and out of a company is accounted for via this sum.

Because of tax advantages on debt issuance, it will be cheaper to issue debt rather than new equity (this is only true for profitable firms, tax breaks are available only to profitable firms). At some point, however, the cost of issuing new debt will be greater than the cost of issuing new equity. This is because adding debt increases the default risk – and thus the interest rate that the company must pay in order to borrow money. By utilizing too much debt in its capital structure, this increased default risk can also drive up the costs for other sources (such as retained earnings and preferred stock) as well. Management must identify the “optimal mix” of financing – the capital structure where the cost of capital is minimized so that the firm’s value can be maximized.

Common stockholders pay close attention to this figure and to a company’s earnings per share, or EPS, because these numbers represent their cut of the profits. When your small business generates strong earnings available for common stockholders and EPS, you potentially increase the value of your company’s common stock. Many people mistakenly believe that a higher net income figure each year means the company is doing well. The problem with this approach is that it ignores changes in the capital at work.

If the cost of goods sold equals \$1,100,000, subtracting this amount leaves a gross profit of \$900,000. The gross profit margin is calculated as \$900,000 divided by \$2 million, with the result multiplied by 100 to express it as a percentage. One of the most important financial statements is the income statement. It provides an overview of revenues and expenses, including taxes and interest. At the end of the income statement is net income; however, net income only recognizes incurred or earned income and expenses.

Sometimes companies, especially large firms, realize gains or losses from fluctuations in the value of certain assets. The results of these events are captured on the cash flow statement; however, the net impact to earnings is found under “comprehensive” or “other comprehensive income” on the income statement. In economics and accounting, the cost of capital is the cost of a company’s funds (both debt and equity), or, from an investor’s point of view “the required rate of return on a portfolio company’s existing securities”. It is the minimum return that investors expect for providing capital to the company, thus setting a benchmark that a new project has to meet. It’s computed by subtracting financing expenses from operating profit.