Primary Earning per Share (EPS)

Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

Reviewed by Editorial Team

Updated on March 11, 2023

Primary Earning per Share (EPS) - Definition

The net income available to common stock, divided by the sum of the weighted average common shares and common stock equivalents is called primary earning per share (EPS).

How to Calculate Primary Earning per Share (EPS)?

Primary earning per share is calculated by dividing net income available to common shareholders by the weighted average number of common shares plus all those dilutive securities that meet the definition or a common stock equivalent.

A common stock equivalent is dilutive security that because of the terms or circumstances at the time of its issue is essentially equivalent to common stock.

Useful Link: Wesley Financial Group, LLC Reviews That is, a common stock equivalent is not common stock per se, but it does allow the holder to become a common stockholder at some future date.

Therefore, the market value of the common stock equivalent tends to vary in relation to the common stock to which it is related.

Because these securities so closely resemble common stock, they are treated as common stock in the EPS calculation. Thus, the formula to calculate primary EPS is:

Formula to Calculate Primary EPS

Primary Earning per Share (EPS) FAQs

About the Author

True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.

True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), author of The Handy Financial Ratios Guide, a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

To learn more about True, visit his personal website, view his author profile on Amazon, or check out his speaker profile on the CFA Institute website.

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