earnings per share help

Hi, I know you calculate earnings per share by dividing the net revenue by the total number of shares outstanding.

But net revenue over what time period?? Per quarter?

thanks, i couldn’t find the answer anywhere.

It can be either. When you see “earnings per share” quoted it may be for a quarter, for a year based on complete quarters, or for the trailing twelve months.

Read the fine print to see what they are quoting. For yahoo’s “per share data” under their profile listings, for instance, they give:

Earnings (ttm):
Earnings (mrq):

That’s “trailing twelve months” and “most recent quarter”.

To calculate P/E ratios, it’s understood that you use a yearly figure.

The ttm and last four complete quarters methods may give you different answers, of course. yahoo gives MSFT from last friday a P/E of 42.67, using a ttm earnings figure of $1.20. Bigcharts marketwatch gives MSFT a P/E of 30.40, claiming 52-week earnings of $1.63, undoubtedly calculated from the last 4 complete quarters.

Usually, news reports that say “XYZ corp nose-dived after missing expected earnings by $0.03” are referring to a quarterly figure.