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Pretax Earnings


Pretax earnings, also known as earnings before tax (EBT), is a profitability measure that looks at a company’s profits before the company has to pay corporate income tax. It deducts all expenses from revenue including interest and operating expenses, but it leaves out the payment of tax. Essentially, it’s an indicator of a company’s financial performance and profitability.


The phonetics for “Pretax Earnings” would be: /pree-taks er-ninngz/

Key Takeaways


  1. Predictive Indicator: Pretax Earnings is a key financial indicator that often provides an accurate prediction of a company’s upcoming net income. It helps investors forecast future cash flows and make strategic investment decisions.
  2. Excludes Tax Impact: As the name suggests, Pretax Earnings are computed before deducting income tax expenses. This allows comparisons of profitability across different firms and industries, since tax rates and regulations can vary greatly between jurisdictions.
  3. Operational Performance: Pretax Earnings give a clear picture of a company’s operational efficiency without clouding the perspective with tax implications. Therefore, they are used by financial analysts to evaluate the company’s profitability purely from its operations.



Pretax Earnings, also known as Earnings Before Tax (EBT), is a significant business/finance term because it states a company’s profitability before the impact of tax expenses. It gives investors, shareholders, and managers a clear view of a company’s operational performance without considering the varying tax implications across different regions or sectors. As this figure does not include the tax expense, it allows for more straightforward comparisons between different companies and industries. It is also a crucial figure used to calculate the effective tax rate and net income. Therefore, having an accurate understanding of a company’s pretax earnings is key to strategic decision-making and financial planning.


Pretax earnings, also known as earnings before tax (EBT), is a crucial financial metric that is extensively used by businesses and analysts to assess the company’s profitability and financial performance over a specific period. Essentially, it represents the profits generated by the company’s operations before accounting for income taxes. By considering the profit figure before tax, companies can determine their efficiency in generating earnings, irrespective of their tax situation. It allows businesses to make comparisons across different jurisdictions where tax laws and rates may vary, thus providing a clearer picture of operational efficiency.The use of pretax earnings is particularly important in financial analysis, budgeting, and strategic planning. Investors and analysts use it to evaluate a company’s profitability without the influence of tax strategies, and it helps them compare firms operating in different tax environments in a more neutral way. Moreover, pretax earnings, as used in calculating key ratios such as Profit Margin and Return on Assets (ROA), facilitate consistent internal comparison over different periods as well as external comparison with industry peers. Understanding pretax earnings therefore crucially influences investment decisions and company valuation processes.


1. Amazon Inc.: In 2020, Amazon reported that their pretax earnings were approximately $24.178 billion, whereas, after tax earnings were close to $21.331 billion. Thus indicating the taxes they had to pay took a significant amount from their initial profit.2. Starbucks Corporation: In their 2020 annual report, Starbucks reported that they had pretax earnings of $663.2 million. After the deduction of corporate income taxes, the company was left with a net earnings of $442.7 million which reveals the impact of taxes on a company’s revenue.3. Apple Inc.: In 2020, Apple presented a pretax earnings of $66.29 billion. After settling the tax obligations, the company’s total income came down to $57.41 billion. The difference in the pre and post-tax earnings underline the substantial effect of taxes on the net income for businesses.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What are Pretax Earnings?

Pretax earnings, also known as earnings before tax (EBT), is a profitability measure that looks at a company’s profits before the company has to pay corporate income tax. It captures all expenses including interest and depreciation, minus all incomes except direct taxes.

How are Pretax Earnings calculated?

To calculate Pretax Earnings, start with gross revenue then subtract all business expenses excluding taxes. This includes costs like salaries, rent and mortgage payments, depreciation, and operational expenses.

Why are Pretax Earnings important?

Pretax earnings can provide a clear picture of a company’s profitability without the influence of its tax environment. It is a useful baseline for analyzing business operations and performance.

Can Pretax Earnings be negative?

Yes, if a company’s costs and expenses are greater than its revenue, then its pretax earnings can be negative, indicating a loss.

How do Pretax Earnings differ from Net Income?

Unlike net income, Pretax Earnings do not account for income taxes. Net income is the amount of earnings left after all expenses, including taxes, are subtracted from the revenue.

Are Pretax Earnings used in financial analysis?

Yes, pretax earnings are often used as a key component in financial ratio analysis to evaluate a company’s financial condition or performance.

Where can I find a company’s Pretax Earnings?

You can typically find a company’s Pretax Earnings on their income statement, which is usually made available in their annual report or quarterly earnings announcement.

Are Pretax Earnings different in different countries?

While the concept of pretax earnings remain the same, the amount may vary between countries due to different taxation laws and rates.

Does Pretax Earnings include capital gains or losses?

Yes, capital gains or losses are generally included in the computation of pretax earnings.

: How does Pretax Earnings impact a company’s valuation?

: Higher pretax earnings generally lead to a higher company valuation since it shows the organization’s potential profitability. This makes it attractive to shareholders and investors.

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