Bottom Line


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".


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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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  1. Who uses Porter's 5 forces analysis?

    Anyone who makes decisions about a company's bottom line can implement Porter's five forces analysis, which is a metric for ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How is the bottom line increased or decreased?

    The bottom line is a common term for a company's net profit because this figure is found at the bottom of the income statement. ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How do I read and analyze an income statement?

    The income statement, also known as the profit and loss (P&L) statement, is the financial statement that depicts the ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How do dividends affect the balance sheet?

    Dividends paid in cash affect a company's balance sheet by decreasing the company's cash account on the asset side and decreasing ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Who actually declares a dividend?

    It is a company's board of directors who actually declares a dividend. The declaration date is the first of four important ... Read Full Answer >>
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    Cash or stock dividends distributed to shareholders are not considered an expense on a company's income statement. Stock ... Read Full Answer >>

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