Operating margin calculator

The operating margin measures the profitability of a company’s core operations and indicates the percentage of revenue that remains after deducting operating expenses.

Ian Hawkins

Page written by Ian Hawkins. Last reviewed on July 17, 2024. Next review due April 1, 2025.

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Operating margin


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What is operating margin?

Operating margin represents the percentage of revenue that remains after deducting the direct costs of running a business. It’s a key indicator of how efficiently a company can generate profit from its core operations.

How is operating margin calculated?

You can calculate operating margin with the following formula:

Operating margin = (Operating income / Revenue) x 100

A higher operating margin indicates effective cost management and a strong profit generation from primary business activities. A lower margin might suggest inefficiencies or intense competition within the industry.

Example of operating margin

Let’s say company XYZ has generated $1,000,000 in revenue. after deducting all operating expenses, the company has an operating income of $300,000.

Now we calculate the operating margin:

Operating margin = ($300,000 / $1,000,000) x 100% = 30%

Therefore, company XYZ’s operating margin is 30%. this means for every dollar of revenue, the company retains 30 cents as operating profit after covering all operating expenses.

Factors affecting operating margin

  • Pricing strategy: the prices set for products or services significantly impact operating margin.
  • Cost of goods sold (COGS): efficiently managing production or acquisition costs is crucial for profitability.
  • Operating expenses: careful management of these costs can lead to higher operating margins.
  • Economies of scale: larger companies can benefit from reduced costs per unit, positively affecting the margin.
  • Industry and market conditions: different industries have varying average operating margins.

Why is operating margin important?

Operating margin is a vital metric for comparing the financial performance of companies within the same industry. It provides insights into how well companies manage their costs. Investors often use it to evaluate a company’s ability to generate profit from its core operations. A consistent and healthy operating margin is usually a positive sign for potential investors.

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