Operating margin shows the percentage associated with profit generated through operating activities. This percentage is useful for determining the productivity on the basic underlying operations of an business, excluding all financing considerations. The measurement may also be used to determine that component of sales money that remain after all operating expenses to cover financing costs, such as the cost of fascination on loans.


Operating activities are comprised of the subsequent expenses:

  • Cost of goods sold (Direct materials, direct labor, and factory overhead)
  • Selling costs
  • General and administrative costs

One-time events, such as the proceeds from or payouts for lawsuits, are not incorporated in operating activities for the reasons of this estimate.

The operating margin is considered by subtracting all operating expenses from sales, and then dividing the outcome by sales. The formula is:


For instance, XYZ International generates $5,000,000 of sales in its most recent quarter, and incurs $4,800,000 of cost of goods sold, selling, and managerial expenses during that time. Its operating margin is:


The particular operating margin should be tracked on the trend line, to see if you experience a long-term optimistic or negative trend inside ability of a business to continue earning a take advantage of its operating activities.

This is an exceptionally important measurement every time a business is deriving a sizable part of the income from capital the sales regarding its products. Inside these situations, an analyst would like to know if the underlying operations of the business are even now generating profits, or should the entity is based upon its financing activities to remain afloat.

The operating margin is advantageous for constructing the cross-industry analysis, since this strips away the results of the differing financial structures regarding competing businesses, so that attention can be devoted to their operational results.