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Understanding Revenue: A Key Financial Indicator

Compact Explanation

Revenue is the total income from sales of goods or services.

Explanation of 'Revenue'


Revenue is a fundamental financial concept that's crucial for understanding the financial health and operational success of any business.


Revenue, often called sales, is the total income generated by a business from its operating activities, usually within a specific period. It is the gross income from which various costs, expenses, and taxes will be deducted to arrive at net income or profit.

Context and Use

Revenue is used by investors, financial analysts, business owners, and stakeholders to assess a company's financial performance and profitability. It serves as the top line in an income statement and is often the starting point for financial analysis.

Detailed Explanation

There are several types of revenue, depending on the nature and activities of the business:

  1. Operating Revenue: Income generated from a company’s primary business activities.

  2. Non-operating Revenue: Income from secondary or non-core business activities.

  3. Recurring Revenue: Regular and predictable income a company expects to receive for its services.

  4. Non-Recurring Revenue: One-time or infrequent income.


If a shoe company sold 100 pairs of shoes last month at $50 each, the company's revenue for that month is $5,000 (100 pairs * $50).

Related Terms

  • Net Income: The profit of a company after all expenses and taxes have been deducted from revenue.

  • Gross Profit: The profit a company makes after deducting the costs associated with making and selling its products, or the costs associated with providing its services.

  • EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization): A measure of a company's overall financial performance and is used as an alternative to net income in some circumstances.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Is higher revenue always better? A: Higher revenue often signals business growth, but it's not always better if costs and expenses are growing at a faster rate.

Q: Can a company be profitable with low revenue? A: Yes, if a company keeps its costs and expenses low, it can still be profitable even with lower revenue.

Key Takeaways

Revenue is the total income generated by a business from its operations and serves as a key indicator of a company's financial health. Different types of revenue can provide a more nuanced view of a business's income streams.


Understanding the concept of revenue is crucial for assessing a company's performance and potential for profitability. It provides vital insights that can guide business owners, investors, and other stakeholders in making informed decisions.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is for educational purposes only and should not be considered financial advice. Always seek professional advice before making any financial decisions.