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Can someone please tell me which website(s) are best for giving me the financials for finding the past 5 years of annualized earnings? When the Motley Fools mention "earnings" is that same thing as "gross revenue"?

Thanks.
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See the earnings per share article on Foolish Wiki--

http://wiki.fool.com/Earnings_per_share

For more about earnings, you might want to find a book on accounting for the non-accounting manager from your local library or bookstore.

No earnings is not gross revenue. Gross revenue is the top line of a typical earnings statement; after tax earnings is usually the bottom line. From gross revenue, all expenses including cost of goods sold, administrative, research, interest expense, engineering, etc, get deducted. Then income taxes.

Most financial sites report last year and last quarter earnings. For five year data, you will often find it in annual reports of the company, or in reports such as those offered by Value Line or Standard and Poors.

But be careful in comparing earnings from year to year. Often earnings are adjusted for non recurring items. Sales or acquisition of businesses can distort numbers. And earnings per share are distorted by items like share repurchases.

S&P in particular strives to report comparable data, but executives seeking to hide deviations from the ideal can use accounting to smoothe over some events.
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Thanks for this reply pauleckler. I hadn't checked it until now. I wish there were a way that these replies were sent to your email inbox.

Thanks again!
Jeff
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Hi Jeff. Whenever you post something on the discussion boards, it is easy to check for replies when you return from the Favorites & Replies button at the top of your screen.

If a poster knows that you are not a frequent visitor, they can arrange to have the reply emailed to you by checking a box at the bottom of the posting screen. But I am not aware of ways for recipients to arrange for emails (unless they ask for them).
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