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The Wendy's Co  (NAS:WEN) Retained Earnings: \$-303 Mil (As of Jun. 2017)

Retained earnings is the accumulated portion of net income that is not distributed to shareholders. The Wendy's Co's retained earnings for the quarter that ended in Jun. 2017 was \$-303 Mil.

The Wendy's Co's quarterly retained earnings increased from Dec. 2016 (\$-291 Mil) to Mar. 2017 (\$-284 Mil) but then declined from Mar. 2017 (\$-284 Mil) to Jun. 2017 (\$-303 Mil).

The Wendy's Co's annual retained earnings increased from Dec. 2014 (\$-446 Mil) to Dec. 2015 (\$-357 Mil) and increased from Dec. 2015 (\$-357 Mil) to Dec. 2016 (\$-291 Mil).

Historical Data

* All numbers are in millions except for per share data and ratio. All numbers are in their local exchange's currency.

The Wendy's Co Annual Data

 Dec07 Dec08 Dec09 Dec10 Dec11 Dec12 Dec13 Dec14 Dec15 Dec16 Retained Earnings -467.01 -492.22 -445.92 -356.63 -290.86

The Wendy's Co Quarterly Data

 Sep12 Dec12 Mar13 Jun13 Sep13 Dec13 Mar14 Jun14 Sep14 Dec14 Mar15 Jun15 Sep15 Dec15 Mar16 Jun16 Sep16 Dec16 Mar17 Jun17 Retained Earnings -336.95 -303.70 -290.86 -283.92 -302.94

Calculation

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.