Part IV - Income Statements
In our last post, we discussed how to read the Balance Sheet
, one of several Financial Statements
that corporations use to measure the economic health of the company. The Balance Sheet is a static picture of the company, and uses a “money material balance” where Shareholders Equity
is simply equal to Assets
on a specific date.
But, as we know from our Heat Transfer and Mass Transfer courses, the material balance doesn’t tell the whole story. Similarly, we need the Income Statement
to show us movement of money during a period of time. The Income Statement shows the profitability of a company over time
and “wipes clean” at the beginning of each period. So, on January 1, we have zero income and we can calculate our income for a month on January 31, for a quarter on March 31, or for a full year on December 31. (Sometimes the Income Statement is called a Profit and Loss Statement
To Chemical Engineers, the Income Statement is important because it shows the profit (or loss) on operations
by the following basic formula:
In short, this equation explains why your boss talks about “cutting costs”, since the Gross Income
(Revenue) less Cost of Goods Sold
. You can imagine it’s much easier for a refinery manager to control the cost of production than it is to increase either the gallons of fuel sold at service stations or the price that is charged per gallon. Some other expenses include:
- Sales (e.g. salary paid to sales force, advertising brochures, trade shows),
- Administrative (e.g. salaries of accountants and lawyers, support staff, building maintenance),
- General (e.g. paper, computers, safety training), and
- Depreciation and Taxes (we’ll talk about these in a future post).
Income Statements are often presented in many different formats. Two popular methods are the Traditional Income Statement,
which is required by U.S. law
for reporting to governments and stockholders, and the Contribution Margin
Income Statement, which is used internally to help guide management decisions. Also, you will want to analyze the Income Statement both horizontally
In horizontal analysis
, you will compare changes in the Income Statement from year-to-year. For example, we will look at the absolute change
in Net Income from 2008 to 2009 as well as the percentage change
, which is $3.5M for ABC-XYZ Company, a 70% increase from year-to-year. Your bo$$ will want to analyze and understand what caused those changes.We can see that Sales increased by $10M in 2009 over 2008 even though we had an increase of $6M in Total Costs and Expenses. We can also see that we have much lower interest expense in 2009 (only $0.5M) as compared to 2008 ($1.0M). Your bo$$ will then understand how the project you installed in 2008 has directly resulted in cost savings!
is used to compare financial statements of different companies or the same company over years when there are significant differences in size. You would use Vertical Analysis if you wanted to compare financial results of Big Oil with financial
results of ABC-XYZ by normalizing to Sales. Notice that Cost of Goods Sold, for example, amounts to almost 60% of ABC-XYZ’s Sales but only 20% of Big Oil’s. What does that tell you about the efficiency of operations at ABC-XYZ versus Big Oil?
Notice also that SG&A (Sales, General, and Administrative) amount to 15% of ABC-XYZ’s Sales but only 1% for Big Oil. Do you suppose that Big Oil may have a more efficient sales staff?
Or would you consider that ABC-XYZ has proportionally more or higher paid staff since they are a smaller company? Which company do you think is more profitable and in which company would you invest?
Unless the business has sufficient cash on hand
to pay employees, suppliers, and utilities, no products will be manufactured or sold. So, your bo$$ and the bank are very likely to worry about Cash Flow
, which shows up on the Cash Flow Statement
Stay tuned for our next blog post and we’ll answer that question!
image of gas pump courtesy of freefoto.com