What is a good EPS (Earnings Per Share) ratio?

1 min readLast updated March 28, 2024by Unbiased team

Learn why EPS is a key determinant of a company's profitability and financial health and unpack what constitutes a good EPS ratio.


  • EPS is mainly used to analyze a company's profitability per share, while the EPS ratio is employed to compare profitability within an industry. 

  • A good EPS is inherently subjective and varies depending on the unique circumstances of each company. 

  • Despite its subjectivity, there are consistent methods to evaluate EPS that allow for a standardized approach. 

  • Finding a financial advisor can ensure you make the most profit from your investments. 

What is an Earnings Per Share (EPS) ratio? 

EPS is a basic financial metric that represents the portion of a company's profit allocated to each outstanding share of common stock. 

When looking at the earnings per share definition, it’s important to realize that EPS is expressed as a per-share value, and it gives insight into a company's profitability on a per-share basis. 

The earnings per share ratio is often used for comparative purposes, especially when analyzing the performance of different companies within an industry. 

The EPS ratio helps investors assess how a company's earnings per share measure up to its peers or industry standards. 

What is a good EPS? 

There is no one-size-fits-all way of determining what qualifies as a good EPS ratio, as the definition is inherently tied to each company's unique circumstances. 

Generally, a higher EPS is perceived as positive, indicating robust profitability for anyone with a good investment strategy. However, it's crucial to note that a high EPS doesn't automatically translate to sustained success or future growth. 

Comparing a company's EPS to industry averages and historical data provides a more comprehensive perspective. Still, other factors must also be considered, including the company’s growth prospects, industry dynamics, and the competitive landscape. 

How can you calculate an EPS ratio? 

The calculation of an earnings per share ratio is a straightforward process of dividing a company's net income after tax, less dividends, by its outstanding shares. The formula can be simply expressed as: 

EPS= Net income - dividend payments 

Weighted average of outstanding shares 

Let’s use these two hypothetical companies, Company X and Company Y, to see how EPS is calculated and then explore why EPS is crucial in assessing their financial performance: 

Company X: 

Net Income After Tax (in $ millions) $20
Dividends (in $ millions) $5
Outstanding Shares (in millions) 3
Earnings Per Share (EPS) $5

Company Y:

Net Income After Tax (in $ millions) $15
Dividends (in $ millions) $3
Outstanding Shares (in millions) 2
Earnings Per Share (EPS) $6

How do you evaluate EPS? 

We can compare Company X and Company Y to understand how to evaluate EPS and reveal some insights about their financial performance that the comparison brings to light. 

Company X has a higher net income after tax ($20 million) compared to Company Y ($15 million). However, despite its higher net income, Company X has a lower EPS ($5) compared to Company Y ($6). This would indicate that Company Y is more efficient in translating earnings into per-share value. 

Company X pays higher dividends ($5 million) compared to Company Y ($3 million), suggesting that, despite lower net income, Company Y retains more earnings for potential growth or other uses. 

Company Y achieves a higher EPS ($6) with fewer outstanding shares (2 million) compared to Company X ($5 with 3 million outstanding shares). This would imply that Company Y is more efficient in generating earnings on a per-share basis, potentially attracting investors seeking concentrated returns. 

However, evaluating EPS involves going beyond a simple assessment of the numbers. 

What other factors do I need to consider alongside EPS? 

To really understand what makes a good EPS ratio, you need to consider various factors, including industry benchmarks, growth expectations, and historical performance. 

Look for consistency and trends in the company's EPS over several periods. 

A company with consistently increasing EPS may indicate strong growth and efficient management. Conversely, a company with erratic fluctuations in its EPS over the same period might raise concerns about its stability and ability to sustain profitability. 

Compare the company's EPS to industry averages. A good EPS should be competitive within its sector, taking into account the unique dynamics of the industry. 

Consider the company's growth expectations and its reinvestment strategies. A good EPS aligns with the company's growth trajectory and strategic initiatives. 

By considering these aspects, investors can paint a more detailed picture of what constitutes a good earnings per share ratio for a specific company. 

Get expert financial advice 

Understanding the earnings per share ratio is essential for investors looking to gauge a company's profitability on a per-share basis and compare its performance within its industry. 

While a higher EPS is generally seen as positive, determining what qualifies as a good EPS ratio requires a nuanced evaluation of various factors, including industry benchmarks, growth prospects, and historical performance. 

It is highly recommended that you consult a financial advisor for expert investment advice. Their expertise can help you navigate the complexities of financial metrics like EPS and make informed decisions about your investment portfolio. 

Let Unbiased match you with the right financial advisor to ensure you successfully manage your money. 

Find a financial advisor. 


Unbiased team

Our team of writers, who have decades of experience writing about personal finance, including investing and retirement, are here to help you find out what you must know about life’s biggest financial decisions.