You can't get far in the stock market without understanding earnings. Everybody from CEOs to research analysts is infatuated with this often-quoted number. But what exactly do earnings represent? Why do they attract so much attention? We'll answer these questions and more in this primer on earnings.
What Are Earnings?
A company's earnings are, quite simply, its profits. Take a company's revenue from selling something, subtract all the costs to produce that product, and, voila, you have earnings! Of course, the details of accounting get a lot more complicated, but underneath all the financial jargon what is really being measured is how much money a company makes. Part of the confusion associated with earnings is caused by its many synonyms. The terms profit, net income, bottom line and earnings all refer to the same thing.
Source : Investopedia