Bottom Line

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DEFINITION of 'Bottom Line'

Refers to a company's net earnings, net income or earnings per share (EPS). Bottom line also refers to any actions that may increase/decrease net earnings or a company's overall profit. A company that is growing its net earnings or reducing its costs is said to be "improving its bottom line".

BREAKING DOWN 'Bottom Line'

The reference to "bottom" describes the relative location of the net income figure on a company's income statement; it will almost always be the last line at the bottom of the page. This reflects the fact that all expenses have already been taken out of revenues, and there is nothing left to subtract. This stands in contrast to revenues, which are considered the "top line" figures.

Most companies aim to improve their bottom lines through two simultaneous methods: growing revenues (i.e., generate top-line growth) and increasing efficiency (or cutting costs).

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