How Are Earnings and Income Different?

Therefore, when a company has top-line growth, the company is experiencing an increase in gross sales or revenue. The P/E ratio represents the amount of money investors are willing to pay for a company’s stock for each dollar of earnings. Thus, companies trading at higher P/E ratios are expected to have higher growth when compared to their peers with lower P/E multiples.

  • Revenues are the amounts earned before deducting expenses (cost of goods sold, SG&A) and losses.
  • Revenue is also called net sales for some companies since net sales include any returns of merchandise by customers.
  • Revenue and retained earnings have different levels of importance depending on what the underlying company is trying to achieve.
  • In addition to considering revenue, it is impacted by the company’s cost of goods sold, operating expenses, taxes, interest, depreciation, and other costs.

A sales allowance is an amount subtracted from revenue which are refunds for damaged, defective, or incorrectly shipped items. Cash discounts reduce the amount of money owed to the seller, and thus reduce revenue. For discerning investors, juxtaposing the two metrics can yield invaluable insights, ensuring informed and judicious investment decisions. Remember, a holistic examination of a company’s financials is always the bedrock of a sound investment strategy. Rising earnings often suggest robust demand for the company’s offerings, potentially heralding future growth.


The investing community often focuses even more on earnings per share (EPS), which is net income divided by the number of shares outstanding. It tells you how much money a company is making for its shareholders. job costing vs process costing Operating income does not take into consideration taxes, interest, financing charges, investment income, or one-off (nonrecurring) or special items, such as money paid to settle a lawsuit.

Income is calculated after deducting all expenses from total revenue. Income refers to profit or earnings after expenses have been deducted from the gross revenue. Revenue, on the other hand, is not to be neglected as also an important measure in determining a company’s profitability. The percentage of revenue left as each type of income is called the margin.

However, keep in mind that this is not “take home” pay and that there are appropriate deductions that will need to be paid out. To mathematically find out what earnings are, subtract all deductions from revenues for the certain time period you are analyzing. Revenue provides managers and stakeholders with a metric for evaluating the success of a company in terms of demand for its product. As a result, it is often referred to as the top-line number when describing a company’s financial performance. Since revenue is the income earned by a company, it is the income generated before the cost of goods sold (COGS), operating expenses, capital costs, and taxes are deducted.

Operating Income vs. Revenue: What’s the Difference?

It reveals the “top line” of the company or the sales a company has made during the period. Retained earnings are an accumulation of a company’s net income and net losses over all the years the business has been operating. Retained earnings make up part of the stockholder’s equity on the balance sheet.

What Is the Difference Between Profit and Earnings?

Due to this reason, net income can be frequently referred to as the bottom line. The net earnings of a company provide the most comprehensive measure of a company’s performance after all expenses are subtracted. Gross profit, which is used to calculate gross profit margin, is a measure that analyzes a company’s cost of sales efficiency. The costs of sales figures include only direct expenses involved in generating a company’s products.


Earnings, before any deductions, are labeled as “gross income.” Once all deductions, including taxes, are factored in, we get the “net income.” Bottom-line growth and revenue growth can be achieved in various ways. A company like Apple might experience top-line growth due to a new product launch like the new iPhone, a new service, or a new advertising campaign that leads to increased sales. Bottom-line growth might have occurred from the increase in revenues, but also from cutting expenses or finding a cheaper supplier. Revenue and income are two very important financial metrics that companies, analysts, and investors monitor. As we explained above, the term “income” can sometimes be confusing, as accountants often use it to refer to a revenue.

More in ‘Finance’

Here we review the differences between earnings and revenue and show an example of both as presented in an actual financial statement. Although net income is the most important, investors and analysts also pay close attention to gross profit and operating income. They can tell you a lot about how different parts of a business are performing.

How do gross profit and net income differ?

Even so, the disparity between revenue and operating income is significant. A company’s revenue and its operating income can end up as two very different numbers. Companies may have different strategic plans regarding revenue and retained earnings. Even if there are constraints or limitations to the organization, most companies will attempt to sell as much product as it can to maximize revenue. Gross sales are calculated by adding all sales receipts before discounts, returns, and allowances.