What is Earnings Before Tax (EBT)?

Earnings before tax (EBT) measures a company's operating and non-operating profits before taxes are considered. It is the same as profit before taxes.

How Does Earnings Before Tax (EBT) Work?

Simplifying things a bit, revenue minus expenses equals earnings. The resulting figure is usually listed on a company's income statement right before taxes are listed. For example,

Company XYZ
Income Statement
For the year Ended Dec 31, 2009

Sales Revenue$1,000,000
Expenses $850,000
Earnings Before Taxes$150,000
Income Tax expense$50,000
Net Income$100,000

In this example, EBT is $150,000 while net income is $100,000.

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Why Does Earnings Before Tax (EBT) Matter?

EBT provides investment analysts with useful information for evaluating a company’s operating performance without regard to tax implications. By removing the tax factor, EBT helps to minimize a variable that may be unique from company to company, in order to focus the analysis on operating profitability as a singular measure of performance. Such analysis is particularly important when comparing similar companies across a single industry.

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