Walk me through an income statement?

One of the most common Investment Banking Interview question:

Walk me through an income statement?

Net Revenues: also known as “sales” is the top line of most income statements and tells the reader the value of goods and services sold by the company in a period.

Cost of Goods Sold (COGS): Also “cost of sales” represents the direct expenses that are incurred by the business to generate revenue or sales.

Gross Profit: Revenues less cost of sales is broadest measure of profitability

SG&A – Operating expenses that are not directly linked to generate revenues – salary (Manufacturing), marketing, administrative, commissions, travel and other ancillary expenses which at times also includes research and development.

Research & Development: Expenses that are directed towards developing new products or procedures.

EBITDA: Earnings before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortization is Sales less all the expenses listed above i.e. Sales – COGS – SG&A – R&D.

Depreciation: The allocation of costs related to Property Plant and Equipment on a piecemeal basis over each period.

Amortization: The allocation of costs related to intangible assets on a piecemeal basis over each period.

Other operating expenses: Expenses which are not classified in the above listed categories.

EBIT- Earnings before interest and tax is EBITDA less D&A. This is also known as operating profit of the company.

Interest Expense: Cost related to the interest that a company pays on its borrowings.

Interest income: Interest income generated from deposits at banks or other short-term investments.

Unusual or infrequent income expenses: These are expenses which are one-time expenses, including restructuring costs, Gain or (loss) from assets, disposal of a businesses, impairment charge and write-offs amongst others.

Pre-Tax profit: EBIT – Unusual income/expenses.

Income taxes: Expenses owed to tax authorities and calculated on pre-tax profit.

Net Income: All revenues and incomes less all expenses.


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