Finance Formulas / July 19, 2018 / Alia Marquez
Earnings per share is the portion of a company's profit that is allocated to each outstanding share of its common stock. It is calculated by taking the difference between a company's net income and dividends paid for preferred stock and then dividing that figure by the average number of shares outstanding.
A dividend is allocated as a fixed amount per share, with shareholders receiving a dividend in proportion to their shareholding. For the joint-stock company, paying dividends is not an expense; rather, it is the division of after-tax profits among shareholders. Retained earnings (profits that have not been distributed as dividends) are shown in the shareholders' equity section on the company's balance sheet - the same as its issued share capital. Public companies usually pay dividends on a fixed schedule, but may declare a dividend at any time, sometimes called a special dividend to distinguish it from the fixed schedule dividends. Cooperatives, on the other hand, allocate dividends according to members' activity, so their dividends are often considered to be a pre-tax expense.
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