The state in which a company's operating expenses exceed its income for a given period of time, usually a quarter or a year. A company can carry back or carry forward operating losses for a certain number of years, reducing the company's tax liability. This is positive, but an operating loss still means that the company is losing money, which cannot be sustained over the long term.
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The excess of operating expenses over revenue. As with operating income, operating losses exclude revenues and expenses from operations that are not considered a regular part of the business. Also called deficit. Compare operating income.
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.