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What is Diluted Earnings Per Share?

Diluted normalized earnings per share (EPS) is a crucial financial metric that provides insights into a company's profitability and the value attributed to each individual share. By accounting for the potential issuance of additional shares, including convertible securities, preferred stock, stock options, and warrants, diluted normalized EPS presents a more comprehensive perspective on a company's earnings distribution. This article aims to explore the concept of diluted normalized EPS, its calculation, and its significance in financial analysis and investment decision-making.

Defining Diluted Normalized Earnings Per Share

Diluted normalized earnings per share measures the profit generated by a company's regular operations on each outstanding share, considering all potential shares that may be issued in the future. It takes into account adjustments made to exclude one-time income or expenses from the profit calculation. To calculate diluted normalized EPS, the normalized profit (adjusted for exceptional items) is divided by the sum of outstanding common shares and potential outstanding shares.

Differentiating from Regular EPS

Diluted normalized EPS differs from regular EPS by incorporating convertible securities, preferred stock, stock options, and warrants in the calculation. This results in a larger denominator (total shares outstanding), leading to a decrease in earnings per share. By factoring in potential dilution, diluted normalized EPS provides a more conservative estimate of a company's profitability per share, giving investors a clearer picture of its income potential.

Significance of Diluted Normalized Earnings Per Share

  1. Evaluating Underlying Profitability: Diluted normalized EPS based on adjusted earnings helps investors gauge a company's true profitability, as it excludes non-recurring or extraordinary items. This metric provides a more accurate representation of the company's ongoing operational performance, aiding in investment decision-making.

  2. Comparison and Valuation: Diluted EPS is commonly used to assess a company's financial health and compare it with industry peers. By tracking a company's diluted normalized EPS over time, analysts and investors can identify trends and evaluate its relative value, considering the potential dilution of earnings.

  3. Identifying Potential Risks: The disparity between diluted normalized EPS and regular EPS can reveal risks associated with shareholder earnings and dividend payouts. A significant difference may indicate a higher likelihood of dilution and unsustainable business operations. Diluted normalized EPS can also help identify companies with a substantial number of convertible securities and extensive stock option issuance.

  4. Conservative Analysis: Diluted normalized EPS serves as a conservative yardstick for financial analysis, valuation, and investment comparisons. By considering potential dilution, investors can gain a more cautious perspective on a company's earnings distribution and make informed decisions.

Implications of Dilution

When a company issues convertible securities, such as bonds or preferred stock, it may provide the option for conversion into common stock. If all these convertible securities were converted at once, the resulting increase in the number of shares would dilute the earnings per share. Diluted EPS reveals the hypothetical earnings per share if all convertible securities were converted into common stock simultaneously.

Excessive dilution poses risks to shareholders, potentially leading to a decrease in earnings and a decline in share value. A high diluted EPS can raise concerns among analysts and investors, as it suggests the possibility of a death spiral, where short sellers and additional conversions contribute to a downward trend in the company's performance.


If all the convertible securities a company had issued were converted at once to common stock, the stock would be diluted; Diluted EPS reveals by how much.

Companies will sometimes entice investors to buy bonds or preferred stock by giving them an option to convert them into shares of common stock. If a bond is converted, shareholders equity increases on the balance sheet and liabilities go down, since a debt liability is being retired.

But, if this occurs many times, the amount of earnings each share experiences will go down noticeably; keep in mind that even though the company saw a windfall of money by terminating a debt obligation and liquidating the reserves that backed the obligation, the cash flow and earnings are probably not going to continue to support that uptick in shareholder equity.

The diluted earnings per share is a calculation which states the hypothetical earnings per share the company would have if all of the convertible securities were converted into common stock at one time. Analysts and investors are skeptical of a company with a high diluted EPS.

Too much dilution can potentially trigger a death spiral where short sellers and additional conversions pile on a downtrend.

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