What is Net Profit Margin?

By Aniket Bose. Edited By Arjun Chandrasekar.


The net profit margin, also known as net margin, measures how much net income or profit is generated as a percentage of revenue for a business. It is the ratio of net profits to revenues for a company. Net profit margin is usually expressed as a percentage but in some cases, it is also represented as a decimal. The net profit margin illustrates how much of each dollar in revenue collected by a company translates into profit. Net profit margin is one of the most important indicators of a company’s overall financial status. 

What Does Net Profit Margin Tell You?

The net profit margin factors in all business activities consisting of total revenue, additional income streams, debt payments including interest paid, all outgoing cash flow, operational expenses, investment income, and one-time payments for unusual circumstances like lawsuits and taxes. As companies track the increase and decrease in their net profit margin, then they can assess whether the current policies and practices they have are resulting in profit or loss. The fact that companies express their net profit margin as a percentage instead of a dollar amount, makes it possible for comparing the profitability of two or more businesses regardless of their size. Net profit margin can easily be influenced by one-off items such as the sale of a particular asset, which would result in temporarily boosting profits. Net profit margin does not focus on a company’s sales or revenue growth, nor does it provide insight regarding management about a company’s production costs. 

Net profit margin assists investors in assessing whether a company’s management is generating enough profit from its sales and whether the operating and overhead costs are being contained effectively. For instance, a company may have an increase in revenue, but if the company’s operating costs are increasing at a faster rate than the revenue, the company’s net profit margin will start to decline. In the best case scenario, investors want to see a company’s track record of expanding its margins, simply meaning that net profit margin gradually rises over time. The majority of publicly traded companies report their net profit margins both quarterly and in their annual reports. Companies that have shown that their net profit margins have expanded over time are typically rewarded with share price growth. Share price growth is typically highly correlated with earnings growth.   


Net profit margin is a financial ratio that is used to calculate the percentage of a profit a company  produces from its total revenue. This ratio is used by analysts to get an understanding of a company’s financial stability. It is used to measure the amount of net profit a company obtains per dollar of revenue gained. It also measures how effectively and efficiently a company operates on an annual basis. Companies that are able to generate a greater profit per dollar of sales are very efficient companies compared to companies that generate a lower profit per dollar. 

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