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Operating Profit Margin

Understanding the financial health of a company requires a close look at various performance metrics, and one key metric is the operating profit margin. This figure helps investors and analysts evaluate a company’s ability to generate profit from its core business activities, stripping out the effects of interest expenses and taxes.


Operating profit margin, also known as operating margin, is the percentage of revenue that remains after deducting the operating expenses of the company. These expenses include costs like wages, depreciation, and the cost of goods sold (COGS), but exclude interest payments and tax liabilities. The operating profit margin is crucial because it provides insight into the effectiveness of a company’s management and operational efficiency.


The formula to calculate the operating profit margin is straightforward:

Operating Profit Margin=(Operating IncomeRevenue)×100\text{Operating Profit Margin} = \left( \frac{\text{Operating Income}}{\text{Revenue}} \right) \times 100


  • Operating Income\text{Operating Income} is Revenue - Operating Expenses.
  • Revenue\text{Revenue} is the total amount of income generated from sales.

Example Calculation

Imagine a company, ABC Corp., has a total revenue of $2,000,000 for the year. Their operating expenses, including wages, depreciation, and COGS, amount to $1,500,000. To find the operating income, subtract the operating expenses from the revenue:

Operating Income=$2,000,000$1,500,000=$500,000\text{Operating Income} = \$2,000,000 - \$1,500,000 = \$500,000

Now, plug this into the operating profit margin formula:

Operating Profit Margin=($500,000$2,000,000)×100=25%\text{Operating Profit Margin} = \left( \frac{\$500,000}{\$2,000,000} \right) \times 100 = 25\%

So, ABC Corp. has an operating profit margin of 25%. This means that for every dollar of revenue, ABC Corp. makes a 25-cent profit from its core operations, before paying interest and taxes.

How Investors Use It

For investors, operating profit margin is a telling indicator of a company’s operational efficiency. A higher operating margin suggests a company is good at managing its costs efficiently and generating higher income from its revenues. Comparing the operating profit margin across companies within the same industry can provide insights into which firms are performing better operationally.

It is also useful for tracking the performance of a single company over multiple periods. If the operating margin is improving over time, it often signals a positive trend in cost management and operational efficiency. Conversely, a declining margin can be a red flag indicating rising costs or falling revenues.

Investors should remember that while the operating profit margin is a vital metric, it should be looked at in conjunction with other financial indicators. A more holistic view will include measures like net profit margin, return on equity, and debt ratios to fully gauge a company’s financial health.