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Benchmark Electronics Inc (NYSE:BHE)
Retained Earnings
$631 Mil (As of Sep. 2014)

Retained earnings is the accumulated portion of net income that is not distributed to shareholders. Benchmark Electronics Inc's retained earnings for the quarter that ended in Sep. 2014 was $631 Mil.

Benchmark Electronics Inc's quarterly retained earnings increased from Mar. 2014 ($603 Mil) to Jun. 2014 ($621 Mil) and increased from Jun. 2014 ($621 Mil) to Sep. 2014 ($631 Mil).

Benchmark Electronics Inc's annual retained earnings increased from Dec. 2011 ($449 Mil) to Dec. 2012 ($494 Mil) and increased from Dec. 2012 ($494 Mil) to Dec. 2013 ($586 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.

Benchmark Electronics Inc Annual Data

Dec04Dec05Dec06Dec07Dec08Dec09Dec10Dec11Dec12Dec13
Retained Earnings 207287399487319357415449494586

Benchmark Electronics Inc Quarterly Data

Jun12Sep12Dec12Mar13Jun13Sep13Dec13Mar14Jun14Sep14
Retained Earnings 463480494500505524586603621631
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