Earnings Yield as an Investment Value Tool

by KenFaulkenberry

in Value

Earnings Yield and Value

Earnings Yield and Value

Earnings yield is the annual earnings of a stock, individual company, or market index compared to the value. In other words it is earnings divided by price. It is expressed as a percentage of the investment value and is the reciprocal of the price/earnings (P/E) ratio.

Related Reading: Investment Analysis: High Probability Strategies

Stock Selection Employing Value Investing Concepts

Examples of the Earnings to Price Yield Calculation

Earnings to Price Yield of a Stock

Intel earned $2.13 and the price is $21.25

Earnings Yield =    $2.13  / $21.25  =   10%


Earnings to Price Yield of a Company

Intel earned $11 billion and has a Market Capitalization of $106 billion.

Earnings Yield = $11 billion / 106 billion  = 10%


Earnings to Price Yield of an Index

The S&P 500 has earnings of $88 with the index at $1486.

Earnings Yield =  $88 / 1486 =  6%


Greenblatt’s Magic Formula Value Approach to Earnings Yield

Magic Formula Earnings Yield is a popular valuation tool for value investors.  In “The Little Book that Beats the Market” by Joel Greenblatt; he provides a little different calculation that many analysts use as part of his “Magic Formula”.

Magic Formula Earnings Yield = Operating Earnings / Enterprise value

I like using enterprise value because it is a more accurate metric of the total investment value of a company. This is because it makes allowances for debt and cash.

Operating earnings, also known as earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT), are the earnings produced by the ongoing operations of the entity. This removes the distortions caused by extraordinary write downs, the effects of financing and taxes.

Intel has Operating Earnings of 17 billion and an enterprise value of 101 billion.

Magic Formula Earnings Yield = 17 billion / 101 billion = 17%

Importance of the Earnings to Price Yield

There is currently a great deal of emphasis put on dividends and dividend yield. But where do these dividends come from? Earnings of course. Earnings are the true long term driver of dividends and stock price.

You may have a stock that has a high dividend yield but pays out all of its earnings. This company may not have the capital to grow earnings or even sustain the high dividend. Earnings are the most important metric in analyzing individual investments.

All of the above methods of calculating earnings to price yield provide a means to compare stocks, companies, indexes, etc. But this is also a valuable metric for comparing to other assets. For instance, you can compare the S&P500 earnings to price yield to the 10 year Treasury Bond yield, or to the current inflation rate.

Use the earnings to price yield as a value tool because it’s simple and provides critical information that can be compared to any other investment asset.


Written by KenFaulkenberry

KenFaulkenberry

AAAMP Blog by Ken Faulkenberry
Ken Faulkenberry earned an MBA from the University of Southern California (USC) Marshall School of Business with an emphasis in investments. Ken has 25 years of investment experience and is dedicated to helping people with self-directed investment management through the Arbor Investment Planner. His asset allocation strategies have an outstanding performance record.
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