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Restructuring Charge


A restructuring charge is a one-time cost that a company incurs when making significant modifications to its business operations. These modifications can include changes such as mergers, layoffs, or a shift in its business strategy. The charged costs can include items like severance pay, lease breakage fees, and the cost of writing down assets.


The phonetics of the keyword “Restructuring Charge” would be: Restructuring: /riːˈstrʌktʃərɪŋ/Charge: /tʃɑːdʒ/

Key Takeaways

Restructuring Charge is an often unavoidable financial element for companies going through important shifts or changes. Here are three major takeaways about Restructuring Charge:

  1. Definition and Purpose: A Restructuring Charge is a hefty one-time cost incurred by a company when realigning its operations. This could be during downsizing, business closures, employee layoffs, or shifts in management. Such a charge is taken in order to streamline operations and hopefully improve financial performance in the long run.
  2. Accounting Implications: Restructuring charges are recorded on the company’s income statement as an expense. They reduce the company’s net income or increase its net loss for the fiscal period in which they occur. However, since these are one-time costs, assessing the company’s performance excluding these charges might give a more accurate picture of the ongoing profitability of the company.
  3. Investor Interpretations: Investors often view Restructuring Charges with mixed feelings. On one hand, it suggests that the company is taking active steps towards improvement. On the other hand, it also signals that the company has been facing troubles necessitating such a change. Hence, thorough analysis of the reason behind the charge and the company’s future plans becomes crucial.


Restructuring charges are a significant concept in business and finance as they represent a one-time cost that a company incurs when undergoing significant changes such as reorganization, downsizing, or relocation. These charges are crucial because they directly impact a company’s financial health, appearing on the income statement and reducing the company’s net income for the period in which they occur. Investors and financial analysts often scrutinize these charges to understand the reasons behind them, their likely impact on future earnings, the company’s long-term strategy, and overall sustainability. Therefore, restructuring charges are an essential element contributing to the comprehensive picture of a company’s financial situation.


Restructuring charge is a financial concept widely used in the business and finance industry. It essentially represents a one-time cost that companies have to bear when they undergo momentous changes such as mergers, acquisitions, or significant shifts in their business model. The purpose of such a charge is to cover for the numerous transitional costs associated with the restructuring, such as employee severance, lease breakage fees, write-down of obsolete assets and other related expenses.Restructuring charges are utilized to ensure that the changes a company is initiating do not impact its operational efficiency, as these changes could be costly. By setting aside specific funds (restructuring charge) for this purpose, the company is able to continue its operations without burdening the regular operational budget. Therefore, restructuring charge also offers a good indication of a company’s financial health as it shows whether the company has the financial capacity to absorb the costs associated with major changes. It also provides investors and stakeholders a more accurate understanding of a company’s future profitability by isolating the one-time restructuring costs from regular business operations.


1. General Motors Restructuring: General Motors, one of the largest automobile manufacturers, underwent a massive restructuring in 2009. After declaring bankruptcy, GM initiated a restructuring charge which included closing several factories, discontinuing some of its brands (like Pontiac), reducing its workforce and restructuring its debt. This restructuring charge was an attempt to reduce its costs and improve efficiency in order to stay competitive. 2. HP’s Restructuring: Hewlett-Packard is another good example. In 2012, the technology giant announced a restructuring plan for the company to reduce costs, improve processes and open opportunities for investments. The plan initially came with a $1 billion restructuring charge, primarily due to workforce reductions and the costs of consolidating real estate properties.3. Boeing’s Restructuring: In 2020, the commercial airplane manufacturer Boeing announced a restructuring charge of $2.5 billion due to the ongoing grounding of their 737 MAX airplanes and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on air travel. This restructuring charge encompassed costs related to scaling back production, compensating airline customers, potential litigation and the costs of workforce reductions.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Restructuring Charge?

A restructuring charge is an expense that a company incurs when it undergoes significant changes that result in a shift in its business operations. These changes may include layoffs, factory closures, or relocation of operations.

Where is the Restructuring Charge reported in financial statements?

Restructuring charges are typically reported under Operating Expenses in the income statement. Sometimes they can be listed separately to draw investors’ attention to specific changes within a company.

When does a company usually incur Restructuring Charges?

Restructuring charges usually occur during mergers and acquisitions, or when the company chooses to change its business strategy like downsizing, relocating, or pivoting its business model. It can also be due to bankruptcy.

How does a Restructuring Charge impact a company’s financial position?

While the restructuring charge is a one-time cost, it reduces the company’s income in the period when it’s reported. However, it’s usually incurred with the expectation that it will increase efficiency and enhance earnings in the future.

Is the Restructuring Charge considered in the EBITDA calculation?

No, restructuring charges are usually excluded when calculating EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization). This is because EBITDA aims to measure operating performance, excluding non-operating and one-off costs like restructuring charges.

How is the Restructuring Charge calculated?

The restructuring charge isn’t calculated in the traditional sense; instead, it is determined by the total costs incurred by a company undergoing the restructuring process. This can include severance pay for employees, costs associated with moving or closing facilities, write-offs of assets, and other related expenses.

How do investors interpret Restructuring Charges?

Investors typically view restructuring charges with caution as they may indicate difficulties within the company. However, some investors may see it as a positive sign of the company making proactive changes to improve future performance. It’s important to understand the reasons behind the charge to interpret it correctly.

Related Finance Terms

  • Impairment Loss: This refers to the decrease in an asset’s book value due to unexpected or sudden damage and wear and tear. It becomes a part of the restructuring charge when a company decides to write-off such losses.
  • Goodwill: Goodwill is an intangible asset that is associated with the purchase of one company by another. During restructuring, the company may write down or write off goodwill, which is reflected in the restructuring charge.
  • Asset Write-down: This is a reduction in the value of an asset based on changes in market value or cashflow projections. This is often a significant part of a restructuring charge.
  • Cost Cutting: Cost cutting refers to measures implemented by a company to reduce its expenses to improve profitability. During restructuring, cost cuts may be essential and can lead to restructuring charges.
  • Layoffs: Reductions in staff can be a part of restructuring. The expenses associated with severance packages and other costs of layoffs are often included in restructuring charges.

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