Railroad Finance

By Frederick A. Cleveland; Fred Wilbur Powell | Go to book overview

CHAPTER X
MANAGEMENT AND DISTRIBUTION OF THE SURPLUS

Control Vested in the Directors. -- Net earnings lie primarily within the domain of the operating head of a railroad. Net income and other accruals and charges and reservations affecting the surplus account are primarily within the domain of the board of directors. In approaching the subject of management and distribution of surplus, it seems desirable to advert to those classes of considerations of the board of directors which are intermediate between net earnings and surplus. As has been stated, the result called net earnings is the amount of the operating return or earnings of a railroad remaining after deducting expenses -- the net financial return to the corporation as a common carrier. Surplus, on the other band, is the net amount which remains on the balance sheet after deducting from the total of assets an amount which represents the invested capital plus the current liabilities and cash reserves. Stated in the form of an equation:

Assets -- (Invested Capital+ Current Liabilities and Cash Reserves)=Surplus

Between the net earnings of any current fiscal period and the surplus of assets over liabilities and cash reserves lie all of those contractual relations and official actions which affect the properties and the obligations of the company which are not directly connected with its operations as a common carrier.

Scope of Authority. -- Among the contractual relations

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