earnings retention ratio

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Earnings retention ratio

Copyright © 2012, Campbell R. Harvey. All Rights Reserved.

Earnings Retention Ratio

The percentage of a publicly-traded company's post-tax earnings that are not paid in dividends. Most earnings retained are re-invested into the company's operations. Tracking year-on-year earnings retention ratios is important to fundamental analysis to investigate whether a company is increasing or decreasing its rate of re-investment. The earnings retentions ratio is calculated thusly:

Earnings retention ratio = (Net income - dividends) / Net income

For example, a company with a net income of $10 million that pays out $3.5 million in dividends has an earnings retention ratio of (10 million - 3.5 million) / 10 million = 65%. It is also called simply the retention ratio.
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earnings retention ratio

Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.
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