Non-Recurring and Extraordinary Items or Events
In the unpredictable world of business, events will arise that are not expected and most likely not occur again. These one-time events are separated on the income statement and classified as either non-recurring or extraordinary. This allows investors to more accurately predict future earnings. If, for instance, you were considering purchasing a gas station, you would base your valuation on the earning power of the business, ignoring one-time costs such as replacing the station’s windows after a thunderstorm. Likewise, if the owner of the station had sold a vintage Coke machine for $17,000 the year before, you would not include it in your valuation because you had no reason to expect that profit would be realized again in the future.
What is the difference between non-recurring and extraordinary events? A nonrecurring charge is a one-time charge that the company doesn’t expect to encounter again. An extraordinary item is an event that materially* affected a company’s finance and needs to be thoroughly explained in the annual report or SEC filings. Extraordinary events can include costs associated with a merger, or the expense of implementing a new production system [as McDonald’s did in the late 1990’s with the Made for You food preparation system].

Non-recurring items are recorded under operating expenses, while extraordinary items are listed after the net line, after-tax.

*The term material is not specific. It generally refers to anything that affects a company in a meaningful and significant way. Some investors try to put a number on the figure, saying an event is material if it causes a change of 5% or more in the company’s finances.



While IAS 33 does not talk about non-recurring items, these would normally be in the nature of exceptional items. The financial statements, if they are IFRS compliant will have a note on EPS which should explain the composition of Earnings being used. In many cases that I have seen for Europe listed companies, EPS, both basic and diluted is disclosed for continuing operations which includes non-recurring items as well as one without these items and a reconciliation of earnings under both.

In the annual reports of companies in china, Note number 2 is describing about Non recurring items. Can any one please explain what is the intention of the presenting that item. Is there any standard saying like that. Will the EPS effects with this item number 2.

By reading the heading that “Non Recurring items” can we assume that those items will occur once in a while.

Thanks & Regards,