Break-Even Analysis

Definition of 'Break-Even Analysis'


An analysis to determine the point at which revenue received equals the costs associated with receiving the revenue. Break-even analysis calculates what is known as a margin of safety, the amount that revenues exceed the break-even point. This is the amount that revenues can fall while still staying above the break-even point.

Investopedia explains 'Break-Even Analysis'


Break-even analysis is a supply-side analysis; that is, it only analyzes the costs of the sales. It does not analyze how demand may be affected at different price levels.

For example, if it costs $50 to produce a widget, and there are fixed costs of $1,000, the break-even point for selling the widgets would be:

If selling for $100: 20 Widgets (Calculated as 1000/(100-50)=20)

If selling for $200: 7 Widgets (Calculated as 1000/(200-50)=6.7)

In this example, if someone sells the product for a higher price, the break-even point will come faster. What the analysis does not show is that it may be easier to sell 20 widgets at $100 each than 7 widgets at $200 each. A demand-side analysis would give the seller that information.



comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Quanto Swap

    A swap with varying combinations of interest rate, currency and equity swap features, where payments are based on the movement of two different countries' interest rates. This is also referred to as a differential or "diff" swap.
  2. Genuine Progress Indicator - GPI

    A metric used to measure the economic growth of a country. It is often considered as a replacement to the more well known gross domestic product (GDP) economic indicator. The GPI indicator takes everything the GDP uses into account, but also adds other figures that represent the cost of the negative effects related to economic activity (such as the cost of crime, cost of ozone depletion and cost of resource depletion, among others).
  3. Accelerated Share Repurchase - ASR

    A specific method by which corporations can repurchase outstanding shares of their stock. The accelerated share repurchase (ASR) is usually accomplished by the corporation purchasing shares of its stock from an investment bank. The investment bank borrows the shares from clients or share lenders and sells them to the company.
  4. Microeconomic Pricing Model

    A model of the way prices are set within a market for a given good. According to this model, prices are set based on the balance of supply and demand in the market. In general, profit incentives are said to resemble an "invisible hand" that guides competing participants to an equilibrium price. The demand curve in this model is determined by consumers attempting to maximize their utility, given their budget.
  5. Centralized Market

    A financial market structure that consists of having all orders routed to one central exchange with no other competing market. The quoted prices of the various securities listed on the exchange represent the only price that is available to investors seeking to buy or sell the specific asset.
  6. Balanced Investment Strategy

    A portfolio allocation and management method aimed at balancing risk and return. Such portfolios are generally divided equally between equities and fixed-income securities.
Trading Center