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Principles of Finance

4.5 What Is “Profit” versus “Loss” for the Company?

Principles of Finance4.5 What Is “Profit” versus “Loss” for the Company?

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Table of contents
  1. Preface
  2. 1 Introduction to Finance
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 1.1 What Is Finance?
    3. 1.2 The Role of Finance in an Organization
    4. 1.3 Importance of Data and Technology
    5. 1.4 Careers in Finance
    6. 1.5 Markets and Participants
    7. 1.6 Microeconomic and Macroeconomic Matters
    8. 1.7 Financial Instruments
    9. 1.8 Concepts of Time and Value
    10. Summary
    11. Key Terms
    12. Multiple Choice
    13. Review Questions
    14. Video Activity
  3. 2 Corporate Structure and Governance
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 2.1 Business Structures
    3. 2.2 Relationship between Shareholders and Company Management
    4. 2.3 Role of the Board of Directors
    5. 2.4 Agency Issues: Shareholders and Corporate Boards
    6. 2.5 Interacting with Investors, Intermediaries, and Other Market Participants
    7. 2.6 Companies in Domestic and Global Markets
    8. Summary
    9. Key Terms
    10. CFA Institute
    11. Multiple Choice
    12. Review Questions
    13. Video Activity
  4. 3 Economic Foundations: Money and Rates
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 3.1 Microeconomics
    3. 3.2 Macroeconomics
    4. 3.3 Business Cycles and Economic Activity
    5. 3.4 Interest Rates
    6. 3.5 Foreign Exchange Rates
    7. 3.6 Sources and Characteristics of Economic Data
    8. Summary
    9. Key Terms
    10. CFA Institute
    11. Multiple Choice
    12. Review Questions
    13. Problems
    14. Video Activity
  5. 4 Accrual Accounting Process
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 4.1 Cash versus Accrual Accounting
    3. 4.2 Economic Basis for Accrual Accounting
    4. 4.3 How Does a Company Recognize a Sale and an Expense?
    5. 4.4 When Should a Company Capitalize or Expense an Item?
    6. 4.5 What Is “Profit” versus “Loss” for the Company?
    7. Summary
    8. Key Terms
    9. Multiple Choice
    10. Review Questions
    11. Problems
    12. Video Activity
  6. 5 Financial Statements
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 5.1 The Income Statement
    3. 5.2 The Balance Sheet
    4. 5.3 The Relationship between the Balance Sheet and the Income Statement
    5. 5.4 The Statement of Owner’s Equity
    6. 5.5 The Statement of Cash Flows
    7. 5.6 Operating Cash Flow and Free Cash Flow to the Firm (FCFF)
    8. 5.7 Common-Size Statements
    9. 5.8 Reporting Financial Activity
    10. Summary
    11. Key Terms
    12. CFA Institute
    13. Multiple Choice
    14. Review Questions
    15. Problems
    16. Video Activity
  7. 6 Measures of Financial Health
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 6.1 Ratios: Condensing Information into Smaller Pieces
    3. 6.2 Operating Efficiency Ratios
    4. 6.3 Liquidity Ratios
    5. 6.4 Solvency Ratios
    6. 6.5 Market Value Ratios
    7. 6.6 Profitability Ratios and the DuPont Method
    8. Summary
    9. Key Terms
    10. CFA Institute
    11. Multiple Choice
    12. Review Questions
    13. Problems
    14. Video Activity
  8. 7 Time Value of Money I: Single Payment Value
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 7.1 Now versus Later Concepts
    3. 7.2 Time Value of Money (TVM) Basics
    4. 7.3 Methods for Solving Time Value of Money Problems
    5. 7.4 Applications of TVM in Finance
    6. Summary
    7. Key Terms
    8. CFA Institute
    9. Multiple Choice
    10. Review Questions
    11. Problems
    12. Video Activity
  9. 8 Time Value of Money II: Equal Multiple Payments
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 8.1 Perpetuities
    3. 8.2 Annuities
    4. 8.3 Loan Amortization
    5. 8.4 Stated versus Effective Rates
    6. 8.5 Equal Payments with a Financial Calculator and Excel
    7. Summary
    8. Key Terms
    9. CFA Institute
    10. Multiple Choice
    11. Problems
    12. Video Activity
  10. 9 Time Value of Money III: Unequal Multiple Payment Values
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 9.1 Timing of Cash Flows
    3. 9.2 Unequal Payments Using a Financial Calculator or Microsoft Excel
    4. Summary
    5. Key Terms
    6. CFA Institute
    7. Multiple Choice
    8. Review Questions
    9. Problems
    10. Video Activity
  11. 10 Bonds and Bond Valuation
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 10.1 Characteristics of Bonds
    3. 10.2 Bond Valuation
    4. 10.3 Using the Yield Curve
    5. 10.4 Risks of Interest Rates and Default
    6. 10.5 Using Spreadsheets to Solve Bond Problems
    7. Summary
    8. Key Terms
    9. CFA Institute
    10. Multiple Choice
    11. Review Questions
    12. Problems
    13. Video Activity
  12. 11 Stocks and Stock Valuation
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 11.1 Multiple Approaches to Stock Valuation
    3. 11.2 Dividend Discount Models (DDMs)
    4. 11.3 Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) Model
    5. 11.4 Preferred Stock
    6. 11.5 Efficient Markets
    7. Summary
    8. Key Terms
    9. CFA Institute
    10. Multiple Choice
    11. Review Questions
    12. Problems
    13. Video Activity
  13. 12 Historical Performance of US Markets
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 12.1 Overview of US Financial Markets
    3. 12.2 Historical Picture of Inflation
    4. 12.3 Historical Picture of Returns to Bonds
    5. 12.4 Historical Picture of Returns to Stocks
    6. Summary
    7. Key Terms
    8. Multiple Choice
    9. Review Questions
    10. Video Activity
  14. 13 Statistical Analysis in Finance
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 13.1 Measures of Center
    3. 13.2 Measures of Spread
    4. 13.3 Measures of Position
    5. 13.4 Statistical Distributions
    6. 13.5 Probability Distributions
    7. 13.6 Data Visualization and Graphical Displays
    8. 13.7 The R Statistical Analysis Tool
    9. Summary
    10. Key Terms
    11. CFA Institute
    12. Multiple Choice
    13. Review Questions
    14. Problems
    15. Video Activity
  15. 14 Regression Analysis in Finance
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 14.1 Correlation Analysis
    3. 14.2 Linear Regression Analysis
    4. 14.3 Best-Fit Linear Model
    5. 14.4 Regression Applications in Finance
    6. 14.5 Predictions and Prediction Intervals
    7. 14.6 Use of R Statistical Analysis Tool for Regression Analysis
    8. Summary
    9. Key Terms
    10. Multiple Choice
    11. Review Questions
    12. Problems
    13. Video Activity
  16. 15 How to Think about Investing
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 15.1 Risk and Return to an Individual Asset
    3. 15.2 Risk and Return to Multiple Assets
    4. 15.3 The Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM)
    5. 15.4 Applications in Performance Measurement
    6. 15.5 Using Excel to Make Investment Decisions
    7. Summary
    8. Key Terms
    9. CFA Institute
    10. Multiple Choice
    11. Review Questions
    12. Problems
    13. Video Activity
  17. 16 How Companies Think about Investing
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 16.1 Payback Period Method
    3. 16.2 Net Present Value (NPV) Method
    4. 16.3 Internal Rate of Return (IRR) Method
    5. 16.4 Alternative Methods
    6. 16.5 Choosing between Projects
    7. 16.6 Using Excel to Make Company Investment Decisions
    8. Summary
    9. Key Terms
    10. CFA Institute
    11. Multiple Choice
    12. Review Questions
    13. Problems
    14. Video Activity
  18. 17 How Firms Raise Capital
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 17.1 The Concept of Capital Structure
    3. 17.2 The Costs of Debt and Equity Capital
    4. 17.3 Calculating the Weighted Average Cost of Capital
    5. 17.4 Capital Structure Choices
    6. 17.5 Optimal Capital Structure
    7. 17.6 Alternative Sources of Funds
    8. Summary
    9. Key Terms
    10. CFA Institute
    11. Multiple Choice
    12. Review Questions
    13. Problems
    14. Video Activity
  19. 18 Financial Forecasting
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 18.1 The Importance of Forecasting
    3. 18.2 Forecasting Sales
    4. 18.3 Pro Forma Financials
    5. 18.4 Generating the Complete Forecast
    6. 18.5 Forecasting Cash Flow and Assessing the Value of Growth
    7. 18.6 Using Excel to Create the Long-Term Forecast
    8. Summary
    9. Key Terms
    10. Multiple Choice
    11. Review Questions
    12. Problems
    13. Video Activity
  20. 19 The Importance of Trade Credit and Working Capital in Planning
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 19.1 What Is Working Capital?
    3. 19.2 What Is Trade Credit?
    4. 19.3 Cash Management
    5. 19.4 Receivables Management
    6. 19.5 Inventory Management
    7. 19.6 Using Excel to Create the Short-Term Plan
    8. Summary
    9. Key Terms
    10. Multiple Choice
    11. Review Questions
    12. Video Activity
  21. 20 Risk Management and the Financial Manager
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 20.1 The Importance of Risk Management
    3. 20.2 Commodity Price Risk
    4. 20.3 Exchange Rates and Risk
    5. 20.4 Interest Rate Risk
    6. Summary
    7. Key Terms
    8. CFA Institute
    9. Multiple Choice
    10. Review Questions
    11. Problems
    12. Video Activity
  22. Index

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Outline the components necessary to calculate profit or loss.
  • Contrast revenue and gains versus expenses and losses.
  • Differentiate revenue and expense versus receipt or payment of cash.

It’s a common misconception that if a business has cash they are making a profit, and if they are suffering a loss they must not have any cash. While this could be true, it’s not necessarily true. In this section you’ll explore key differences between cash flow, revenue, expense, profits, and losses.

Calculating Profit and Loss

Net income (net loss) is determined by comparing revenues and expenses. Net income is a result of revenues (inflows) being greater than expenses (outflows). A net loss occurs when expenses (outflows) are greater than revenues (inflows). In accounting it is common to present net income in the following format:

Recall that revenue is the value of goods and services a business provides to its customers and increases the value of the business. Expenses, on the other hand, are the costs of providing the goods and services and decrease the value of the business. When revenues exceed expenses, companies have net income. This means the business has been successful at earning revenues, containing expenses, or a combination of both. If, on the other hand, expenses exceed revenues, companies experience a net loss. This means the business was unsuccessful in earning adequate revenues, sufficiently containing expenses, or a combination of both. While businesses work hard to avoid net loss situations, it is not uncommon for a company to sustain a net loss from time to time. It is difficult, however, for businesses to remain viable while experiencing net losses over the long term.

Shown as a formula, the net income (loss) function is:

Revenues (R)  Expenses (E)  = Net Income (when R>E)Revenues (R)   Expenses (E) = Net Loss (when E>R)Revenues (R)  Expenses (E)  = Net Income (when R>E)Revenues (R)   Expenses (E) = Net Loss (when E>R)

To be complete, we must also consider the impact of gains and losses. While gains and losses are infrequent in a business, it is not uncommon that a business would present a gain and/or loss in its financial statements. Recall that gains are similar to revenue and losses are similar to expenses. Therefore, the traditional accounting format would be as shown in Figure 4.17.

A simple depiction of gains and losses. Revenues, also called sales or fees earned, and gains are added. From that, expenses and losses are deducted to calculate net income or net loss.
Figure 4.17 Gains and Losses

Shown as a formula, the net income (loss) function, including gains and losses, is:

Revenues (R)+Gains G - Expenses E - Losses L = Net Income when (R+G >(E+L)]Revenues (R)+Gains G - Expenses E - Losses L = Net Income when (R+G >(E+L)]
Revenues (R) + Gains (G) - Expenses (E) - Losses (L) = Net Loss [when (E + L) > (R + G)]Revenues (R) + Gains (G) - Expenses (E) - Losses (L) = Net Loss [when (E + L) > (R + G)]

When assessing a company’s net income, it is important to understand the source of the net income. Businesses strive to attain “high quality” net income (earnings). High-quality earnings are based on sustainable earnings, also called permanent earnings, while relying less on infrequent earnings, also called temporary earnings. Recall that revenues represent the ongoing value of goods and services the business provides (sells) to its customers, while gains are infrequent and involve items ancillary to the primary purpose of the business. For example, assume a bakery sells the truck it uses to deliver wedding cakes and experiences a gain on the sale. The bakery is not in the business of buying and selling trucks. It is in the baked goods business. Thus, the gain on the sale of the truck would be ancillary to the primary purpose of the business and represent a gain rather than revenue. We should use caution if a business attains a significant portion of its net income as a result of gains rather than revenues. Likewise, net losses derived as a result of losses should be put into the proper perspective due to the infrequent nature of losses. While net losses are undesirable for any reason, net losses that result from expenses related to ongoing operations, rather than losses that are infrequent, are more concerning for the business.

Profit versus Cash Flow

Knowing the difference between the cash basis and accrual basis of accounting is necessary to understand the need for the statement of cash flows. Stakeholders need to know the financial performance (as measured by the income statement—that is, net income or net loss) and financial position (as measured by the balance sheet—that is, assets, liabilities, and owners’ equity) of the business. This information is provided in the income statement, statement of owner’s equity, and balance sheet. However, since these financial statements are prepared using accrual accounting, stakeholders do not have a clear picture of the business’s cash activities. The statement of cash flows solves this inadequacy by specifically focusing on the cash inflows and cash outflows. It also helps better delineate the difference between revenues and cash flow in versus expenses and cash flow out. As mentioned in prior sections, revenue can occur without cash actually flowing. For example, a customer may buy a good on account. Revenues would be recorded, but cash would not yet be received. The same is true on the expenses side. An expense can be incurred, such as an electric bill, but cash may not have been paid out yet. Thus, an expense is recorded and recognized on the income statement, but cash has not yet been given up. The statement of cash flows helps reconcile the difference between net income (a result of recorded revenues and expenses) and actual cash flow.

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