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Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM)
Retained Earnings
$399,614 Mil (As of Jun. 2014)

Retained earnings is the accumulated portion of net income that is not distributed to shareholders. Exxon Mobil Corporation's retained earnings for the quarter that ended in Jun. 2014 was $399,614 Mil.

Exxon Mobil Corporation's quarterly retained earnings increased from Dec. 2013 ($387,432 Mil) to Mar. 2014 ($393,800 Mil) and increased from Mar. 2014 ($393,800 Mil) to Jun. 2014 ($399,614 Mil).

Exxon Mobil Corporation's annual retained earnings increased from Dec. 2011 ($330,939 Mil) to Dec. 2012 ($365,727 Mil) and increased from Dec. 2012 ($365,727 Mil) to Dec. 2013 ($387,432 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.

Exxon Mobil Corporation Annual Data

Dec04Dec05Dec06Dec07Dec08Dec09Dec10Dec11Dec12Dec13
Retained Earnings 134,390163,335195,207228,518265,680276,937298,899330,939365,727387,432

Exxon Mobil Corporation Quarterly Data

Mar12Jun12Sep12Dec12Mar13Jun13Sep13Dec13Mar14Jun14
Retained Earnings 338,168351,421358,369365,727372,666376,732381,832387,432393,800399,614
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