Year-Over-Year YOY: What It Means, How It's Used in Finance

Just like YTD, MTD (month-to-date) is a period that starts at the beginning of the current month to the current date. It is a much shorter period compared to YTD, but it is very useful in reporting interim monthly performance. In another example, a company such as Spirit Halloween that sells costumes would expect most of its annual revenue between late August and early November. If the company wants to compare this season’s growth compared to last season, it will use YoY reports. Year-over-year (YoY) is a metric that refers to the 12-month change of a particular value and compares it to the change in a different period. In other words, it is the change in annualized returns between two comparable periods.

YOY is used to make comparisons between one time period and another that is one year earlier. This allows for an annualized comparison, for example between third-quarter earnings this year vs. third-quarter earnings the year earlier. It is probably more meaningful to judge a company’s quarterly results with those of the same quarter in the previous year. This is more of an “apples-to-apples” comparison and gives investors a better chance to reach the correct conclusion regarding the company’s performance.

What’s the Difference Between YOY and YTD?

A company had $110 million in revenue in 2018, compared to $100 million in 2017. In other words, revenue increased by $10 million compared to the previous year, which amounts to a 10% YoY revenue growth. Another issue with year-over-year calculations is that they can’t fully explain the details behind economic or business growth.

  • This information is valuable because it showcases trends in financial metrics.
  • Any measurable value that repeats annually can be compared on a YOY basis.
  • At EY, he focuses on strategy, process and operations improvement, and business transformation consulting services focused on health provider, payer, and public health organizations.
  • Year-over-year calculations are frequently used when discussing economic or financial data.
  • Our team of reviewers are established professionals with decades of experience in areas of personal finance and hold many advanced degrees and certifications.

MOM (month-over-month) growth shows the change of a certain metric compared to its value in the previous month. YTD (year-to-date) is different from YOY because it shows growth from the beginning of the year until the present day. Lastly, if you want to compare the difference between two consecutive quarters of the same year you can use QOQ (quarter-over-quarter). For example, the key difference between YOY and YTD is that YTD helps calculate growth from the beginning of the year, calendar or fiscal, until the present date.

How to Use YoY in Reporting

The formula used to calculate the year over year (YoY) growth rate is as follows. U.S. stocks rose Tuesday, with all three leading U.S. indexes up at least 0.5% after the latest inflation reading kept investors’ soft-landing hopes intact. Over the last twelve months, operating cash flow was $17.0 billion and free cash flow was $10.1 billion. On the other hand, for smaller or newer companies, especially those in emerging industries or startups, higher YOY growth rates are often expected. Growth rates of 20% to 50% or even higher might be considered favorable for such companies as they try to gain market share and establish themselves.

Seasonal changes in earnings aren’t the only reason investors should pay attention to YoY comparisons. Late-stage, mature companies with established market shares are less likely to allocate funds to faciliate more growth (e.g. reinvestments, capital expenditures). The YoY growth of our company can be analyzed for an improved understanding of its growth trajectory, the implied stage of the company’s life-cycle, and cyclical trends in operating performance. Here, by dividing the current period amount by the prior period amount, and then subtracting 1, we arrive at the implied growth rate. Alternatively, another method to calculate the YoY growth is to subtract the prior period balance from the current period balance, and then divide that amount by the prior period balance.

Definition: WHAT Is Year-Over-Year Growth?

If we multiply the prior period balance by (1 + growth rate assumption), we can calculate the projected current period balance. After inputting our assumptions into the formula, we arrive at an YoY growth rate of 20% in the company’s revenue. The objective of performing a year over year growth analysis (YoY) is to compare recent financial performance to historical periods.

YoY in Economics

An analyst in an investment firm is comparing the key financial results–Revenue, EBITDA and Net Income–of a company for the month of June in years 2020 and 2021. Looking at a quarter’s financials compared to the same quarter a year earlier is very useful because it helps eliminate fluctuations in the numbers due to seasonality. It’s also common to compare quarterly financials on a YoY basis – as in, whether financials improved or worsened compared to the same quarter a year earlier. YOY calculations can aid in identifying these patterns and you gain insights into underlying trends. There are several important financial comparisons that you can benefit from in business.

Furthermore, cyclical patterns become apparent if the analysis with historical results is inclusive of a minimum of one full economic cycle. This example comes from a financial modeling exercise where an analyst is comparing the number of units sold in Q to the number of units sold in Q3 2017. You can compute month-over-month or quarter-over-quarter (Q/Q) in much the same way as YOY. Pete Rathburn is a copy editor and fact-checker with expertise in economics and personal finance and over twenty years of experience in the classroom.

What does YOY stand for in finance?

It is commonly used to compare a company’s growth in profits or revenue. In macroeconomics, it can also be used to describe yearly changes in an economy’s employment, money supply, gross domestic product (GDP), inflation, or other broad economic indicators. Therefore, YOY comparisons are popular when analyzing a company’s performance. Sales, profits, and other financial values change during different periods of the year. This is because most businesses have a peak season and a low-demand season.

When you measure the performance of one metric now and compare it against a different period, you can understand what direction your business is taking and act appropriately. Year-over-year analysis is used to compare the results in one period, such as a month, with the same period in the previous year. Year over year analysis is useful because it eliminates any cyclicality or seasonality that occurs during the year. The year-over-year calculation is useful because it gives you a direct apple to apple’s comparison with the same period from the prior year. This is especially helpful when a business has seasonality or cyclicality.

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