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Babcock & Wilcox Co (NYSE:BWC)
Retained Earnings
$677 Mil (As of Mar. 2015)

Retained earnings is the accumulated portion of net income that is not distributed to shareholders. Babcock & Wilcox Co's retained earnings for the quarter that ended in Mar. 2015 was $677 Mil.

Babcock & Wilcox Co's quarterly retained earnings declined from Sep. 2014 ($757 Mil) to Dec. 2014 ($642 Mil) but then increased from Dec. 2014 ($642 Mil) to Mar. 2015 ($677 Mil).

Babcock & Wilcox Co's annual retained earnings increased from Dec. 2012 ($349 Mil) to Dec. 2013 ($657 Mil) but then declined from Dec. 2013 ($657 Mil) to Dec. 2014 ($642 Mil).


Definition

Retained Earnings is the accumulated portion of net income that is not distributed to shareholders. Because the net income was not distributed to shareholders, shareholders’ equity is increased by the same amount.

Of course, if a company loses, it is called retained losses, or accumulated losses.


Explanation

Historically profitable companies sometimes have negative retained earnings. This is because they have cumulatively paid out more to shareholders than they reported in profits.

For example, in 2011, Microsoft had negative retained earnings. This does not mean the company lost more money than it made over the years. It just means it paid out more money than it earned.

If a company has negative retained earnings, investors should check the 10-year financial results. They should not assume that negative retained earnings prove a company has generally lost money in the past.

Of course, many companies with negative retained earnings have indeed lost money in the past.

Retained Earnings: Warren Buffett’s Secret.

One of the most important indicators of durable competitive advantage. Net earnings can be paid out as dividends, used to buy back shares or retained for growth.

If the company loses more than it has accumulated, retained earnings is negative.

If a company isn’t adding to its retained earnings, it isn’t growing its net worth.

Rate of growth of retained earnings is good indicator whether it’s benefiting from a competitive advantage.

Microsoft is negative because it chose to buyback stock and pay dividends.

The more earnings retained, the faster it grows and increases growth rate for future earnings.


Historical Data

* All numbers are in millions except for per share data and ratio. All numbers are in their own currency.

Babcock & Wilcox Co Annual Data

Dec08Dec09Dec10Dec11Dec12Dec13Dec14
Retained Earnings 0000097131349657642

Babcock & Wilcox Co Quarterly Data

Dec12Mar13Jun13Sep13Dec13Mar14Jun14Sep14Dec14Mar15
Retained Earnings 349387451502657691706757642677
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