The income statement: the place where profit lives

NSE:BANKNIFTY   Nifty Bank Index
Today we are going to look at the second of the three main reports that a company publishes during the earnings season, the income statement. Just like the balance sheet, it is published every quarter and year. This is how we can find out how much a company earns and how much it spends. The difference between revenues and expenses is called profit. I would like to highlight this term "profit" again, because there is a very strong correlation between the dynamics of the stock price and the profitability of the company.

Let's take a look at the stock price charts of companies that are profitable and those that are unprofitable.

3 charts of unprofitable:

3 charts of profitable:

As we can see, stocks of unprofitable companies have a hard enough time growing, while profitable companies, on the contrary, are getting fundamental support to grow their stocks. We know from the previous post that a company's Equity grows due to Retained Earnings. And if Equity grows, so do Assets. Recall: Assets are equal to the sum of a company's Equity and Liabilities. Thus, growing Assets, like a winch attached to a strong tree, pull our machine (= stock price) higher and higher. This is, of course, a simplified example, but it still helps to realize that a company's financial performance directly affects its value.

Now let's look at how earnings are calculated in the income statement. The general principle is this: if we subtract all expenses from revenue, we get profit. Revenue is calculated quite simply - it is the sum of all goods and services sold over a period (a quarter or a year). But expenses are different, so in the income statement we will see one item called "Total revenue" and many items of expenses. These expenses are deducted from revenue gradually (top-down). That is, we don't add up all the expenses and then subtract the total expenses from the revenue - no. We deduct each expense item individually. So at each step of this subtraction, we get different kinds of profit: gross profit, operating income, pretax income, net income. So let's look at the report itself.

- Total revenue
This is, as we've already determined, the sum of all goods and services sold for the period. Or you could put it another way: this is all the money the company received from sales over a period of time. Let me say right off the bat that all of the numbers in this report are counted for a specific period. In the quarterly report, the period, respectively, is 1 quarter, and in the annual report, it is 1 year.
Remember my comparison of the balance sheet with the photo? When we analyze the balance sheet, we see a photo (data snapshot) on the last day of the reporting period, but not so in the income statement. There we see the accumulated amounts for a specific period (i.e. from the beginning of the reporting quarter to the end of that quarter or from the beginning of the reporting year to the end of that year).

- Cost of goods sold
Since materials and other components are used to make products, accountants calculate the amount of costs directly related to the production of products and place them in this item. For example, the cost of raw materials for making shoes would fall into this item, but the cost of salaries for the accountant who works for that company would not. You could say that these costs are costs that are directly related to the quantity of goods produced.

- Gross profit (Gross profit = Total revenue - Cost of goods sold)
If we subtract the cost of goods sold from the total revenue, we get gross profit.

- Operating expenses (Operating expenses are costs that are not part of the cost of production)
Operating expenses include fixed costs that have little or no relation to the amount of output. These may include rental payments, staff salaries, office support costs, advertising costs, and so on.

- Operating income (Operating income = Gross profit - Operating expenses)
If we subtract operating expenses from gross profit, we get operating income. Or you can calculate it this way: Operating income = Total revenue - Cost of goods sold - Operating expenses.

- Non-operating income (this item includes all income and expenses that are not related to regular business operations)
It is interesting, that despite its name, non-operating income and operating income can have negative values. For this to happen, it is sufficient that the corresponding expenses exceed the income. This is a clear demonstration of how businessmen revere profit and income, but avoid the word "loss" in every possible way. Apparently, a negative operating income sounds better. Below is a look at two popular components of non-operating income.

- Interest expense
This is the interest the company pays on loans.

- Unusual income/expense
This item includes unusual income minus unusual expenses. "Unusual" means not repeated in the course of regular activities. Let's say you put up a statue of the company's founder - that's an unusual expense. And if it was already there, and it was sold, that's unusual income.

- Pretax income (Pretax income = Operating income + Non-operating income)
If we add or subtract (depending on whether it is negative or positive) non-operating income to operating income, we get pretax income.

- Income tax
Income tax reduces our profit by the tax rate.

- Net income (Net income = Pretax income - Income tax)
Here we get to the income from which expenses are no longer deducted. That is why it is called "net". It is the bottom line of any company's performance over a period. Net income can be positive or negative. If it's positive, it's good news for investors, because it can go either to pay dividends or to further develop the company and increase profits.

This concludes part one of my series of posts on the Income statement. In the next parts, we'll break down how net income is distributed to holders of different types of stock: preferred and common. See you soon!

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