Net income margin

Net income margin is the net after-tax income of a business, expressed as a percentage of sales. It is used in ratio analysis to determine the proportional profitability of a business. It is especially useful when tracked on a trend line, to see if there are any spikes or dips in the long-run average net income margin. An outside analyst can use this information as part of an analysis to decide whether to recommend to investors whether a company's shares should be bought or sold.

The net income margin formula is:

Net income ÷ Sales

For example, ABC International has net after-tax income of $50,000 and sales of $1,000,000. Its net income margin is calculated as follows:

$50,000 Net income ÷ $1,000,000 Sales = 5% Net income margin

A problem with this ratio is that the net income percentage is usually such a small percentage of the total activity of a business that it can be easily altered by one-time expenses. For example, an unexpected repair bill could take a large chunk out of the expected percentage. Another issue is that this ratio does not necessarily match the amount of cash flow generated by a business, especially if results are being presented using the accrual basis of accounting; consequently, it may be necessary to compare the net income margin to the cash flows information on the statement of cash flows.

Similar Terms

Net income margin is also known as net profit margin.