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Revenue can most easily be thought of as the top line of an income statement or profit and loss statement. Revenue is the total amount of income generated by the sale of goods or services related to the company's primary operations. If the company is a shoe retailer, the money it makes from selling shoes before accounting for any expenses is its revenue. If the company also has income from investments or from a subsidiary company, that income is not considered revenue; it does not come from the sale of shoes. Additional income streams and various types of expenses are accounted for separately. For the fiscal year ended January 28, 2017, JCPenney's (JCP) revenue was $12.55 billion. This is the proceeds from sales in the company.

Profit, conversely, is the infamous bottom line. This is called net profit, because it is the amount of income that remains after accounting for all expenses, debts, additional income streams and operating costs. JCPenney's profit was $1 million for the fiscal year.

In between the top and bottom line, the term "profit" may emerge in the context of gross profit and operating profit. These are steps on the way to net profit. Gross profit is revenue minus the cost of goods sold (COGS) which for JCP was $4.48 billion. Operating profit is gross profit minus all other fixed and variable expenses associated with operating the business, such as rent, utilities and payroll. Operating profit for JCP was $395 million. When most people refer to a company's profit, they are referring to the net income remainder after expenses, or the net profit.

While revenue and profit both refer to the money a company makes, it is possible for a company to generate revenue but have a net loss. This occurs when debts or expenses outstrip earnings. For the 2014 and 2015 fiscal years, JCPenney generated revenues of $12.26 billion and $12.63 billion, respectively, and net losses of $717 million and $513 million, respectively.

 
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