Unit Sales

DEFINITION of 'Unit Sales'

A measure of the total sales that a firm earns in a given reporting period, as expressed on a per unit of output basis. Typically, when using or analyzing a unit sales figure, it should be based on a physical product, such as the number of tons of coal sold, rather than on the number of services rendered.

BREAKING DOWN 'Unit Sales'

Unit sales, which is a top-line item, is a useful figure for analysts because it enables them to determine average product prices and find possible margin pressure.

For example, assume XYZ Corp. has $250 million in revenue and it sold 5 million units. By taking the ratio of the two ($250 million/5 million), an analyst can see that the average selling price is $50 per unit. Suppose that in the next reporting period, that same firm had an average selling price of $48. The analyst could see this as a red flag, which could warrant more research into the firm.

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