DEFINITION of 'Trailing'

The most recent time period, often used to describe the time that a particular set of data is referring to. Trailing is used to describe a past statistic, such as same-store sales, but can also be used to describe a technique, such as a trailing stop order. Most often you will hear the term "trailing 12 months," "trailing three months" or "trailing six months."


The term may also modify a reported metric. For example, the earnings in a trailing price-to-earnings ratio refers to the past earnings per share over a certain period - usually 12 months. Trailing 12 months is denoted by the acronym "TTM."

  1. Price-Earnings Ratio - P/E Ratio

    The Price-to-Earnings Ratio or P/E ratio is a ratio for valuing ...
  2. Earnings Per Share - EPS

    The portion of a company's profit allocated to each outstanding ...
  3. Diluted Earnings Per Share - Diluted ...

    Diluted Earnings Per Share (or Diluted EPS) is a performance ...
  4. Earnings

    The amount of profit that a company produces during a specific ...
  5. Trailing Twelve Months - TTM

    The timeframe of the past 12 months used for reporting financial ...
  6. Cash Earnings Per Share - Cash ...

    A measure of financial performance that looks at the cash flow ...
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