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Corporate earnings are a company's profits after expenses have been paid. Earnings history is one of the key indicators that fundamental analysts use to evaluate a company.
However, there are several ways to report earnings. The broadest is reported earnings, which is defined by generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Others include pro forma earnings, EBITDA, free cash flow, and core earnings. Each method produces different results because of the data that is included in the calculation.
The variations make it difficult to make meaningful comparisons among the earnings of different companies, an issue that Standard & Poor's was addressing in developing the concept of core earnings.
Your earnings, on the other hand, include salary and other compensation for work you do, as well as income from assets you own, such as interest, dividends, and capital gains.