UK Accounting Glossary
Diluted share is a term used in reporting earnings per share, as in “earnings per diluted share.” Under Statement of Financial Accounting Standards 128, a company that has a complex capital structure (ie, it has securities that have the potential of becoming common shares) must report earnings on both a “basic” (non-dilutive) and diluted share basis. Computing earnings on a dilutive share basis involves consideration of three types of securities: options and warrants, contingent shares, and convertible securities. These securities are assumed to be exercised, issued, or converted, which increases the weighted average of outstanding shares upon which diluted share earnings are computed. Since earnings on a diluted share basis assume more outstanding shares, diluted share earnings are smaller than basic earnings per share. Thus earnings on a diluted share basis is the more conservative presentation.
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This glossary post was last updated: 9th February 2020.