- Retained Earnings
- The percentage of net earnings not paid out as dividends, but retained by the company to be reinvested in its core business or to pay debt. It is recorded under shareholders' equity on the balance sheet.
The formula calculates retained earnings by adding net income to (or subtracting any net losses from) beginning retained earnings and subtracting any dividends paid to shareholders:
Also known as the "retention ratio" or "retained surplus".
In most cases, companies retain their earnings in order to invest them into areas where the company can create growth opportunities, such as buying new machinery or spending the money on more research and development.
Should a net loss be greater than beginning retained earnings, retained earnings can become negative, creating a deficit.
The retained earnings general ledger account is adjusted every time a journal entry is made to an income or expense account.
Investment dictionary. Academic. 2012.
Look at other dictionaries:
retained earnings — Earnings of a corporation from the current as well as prior years that have neither been distributed to the shareholders as dividends nor transferred to the surplus account. Corporate earnings accumulated over time. One of a corporation s equity… … Financial and business terms
retained earnings — n pl: earned surplus at surplus Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 … Law dictionary
retained earnings — retained profits; = ploughed back profits; = retentions The net profit available for distribution, less any distributions made, i.e. the amount kept within the company. Retained earnings are recorded in the profit and loss reserve … Accounting dictionary
retained earnings — retained profits; ploughed back profits; retentions The net profit available for distribution, less any distributions made, i. e. the amount kept within the company. Retained earnings are recorded in the profit and loss reserve … Big dictionary of business and management
Retained earnings — Accounting earnings that are retained by the firm for reinvestment in its operations; earnings that are not paid out as dividends. The New York Times Financial Glossary * * * retained earnings retained earnings ➔ earnings * * * Earnings not… … Financial and business terms
Retained earnings — In accounting, retained earnings refers to the portion of net income which is retained by the corporation rather than distributed to its owners as dividends. Similarly, if the corporation makes a loss, then that loss is retained and called… … Wikipedia
retained earnings — An account on the balance sheet which represents the accumulated earnings of a corporation less any dividend distributions (including capitalization through stock dividends). It is usually a credit balance and a component of stockholder s equity … Black's law dictionary
Retained earnings — The balance, either debit or credit, of appropriated or unappropriated retained earnings of the utility department arising from earnings. U.S. Dept. of Energy, Energy Information Administration s Energy Glossary … Energy terms
retained earnings — Accumulated *net income recorded as *stockholders’ *equity in a corporation’s *balance sheet. Retained earnings are normally available for distribution as *dividends … Auditor's dictionary
retained earnings — the accumulated, undistributed earnings of a corporation. Also called retained income, earned surplus. * * * … Universalium