1. Alternative term for net income.
2. The famous 'bottom line,' being the last line-item in an income statement. In the UK and most other countries, earnings generally represent the balance left after deducting operating expenses, interest charges, taxes, and dividends on the preference shares (preferred stock) but not extraordinary items. In the US, earnings are often used interchangeably with net income (net profit). Earnings of a firm are the paramount measure of its value as seen by the stockmarket which prizes both fast as well as stable earnings growth.