DEFINITION of 'Visibility'

The extent to which future projections are probable. Visibility is commonly used in discussing a company's future earnings. A lack of earnings visibility can be a sign that low, or no earnings, are on the horizon. Factors that may contribute to a lack of earnings visibility include regulatory uncertainty, price volatility for production inputs and a weak economy.

Visibility can also refer to a company's presence in the marketplace. Basically, a dominant company would have much greater visibility than a small player.

BREAKING DOWN 'Visibility'

For example, you'll often hear CEOs in a conference call tell analysts that they have "low visibility" for the upcoming quarter. This means they have little to no idea what future earnings will be, and cannot offer any earnings guidance to analysts or investors.

For a new company to increase its market share, it will need to increase its visibility by implementing effective marketing strategies.