XXX is smaller than its peers, with just XXX million in revenue in the trailing 12 months and a market capitalization below $X billion.

What is the meaning of 'in the trailing 12 months'? What does the word trailing mean here?

Can it be replaced by other words?


2 Answers 2


Trailing twelve months is a unit of measurement used to indicate an organization's financial standing in the market. I think this is what is being referred to in the quote.

From Wikipedia:

Trailing Twelve Months (TTM) is a measurement of a company's financial health used in finance. It is measured by using the income statements from a company's reports (such as interim, quarterly or annual reports), to calculate the income for the twelve-month period immediately prior to the date of the report. This figure is calculated by analysts because quarterly and interim reports often show only income from the preceding 3, 6 or 9 months, not a full year. Because it does not represent a full year, this data can be skewed by seasonal trading patterns, say higher sales over Christmas, giving a less accurate picture of a company's fiscal health.1

Typically trailing twelve months figures are generated to show either the most recent twelve months of a company's trading or to show the last twelve months of its trading before a certain event, such as an acquisition, took place. If no quarterly or interim report has been issued between the last preliminary report or annual report and the date in question, then there is no need to generate trailing twelve months figures, because annual and preliminary reports already contain figures for 12 months.

An interesting example included in the article:

If a Company reports $1 million in quarterly revenue in a 10-Q 1/1/2000, a $10 million yearly revenue on 10/1/2000, and $4 million quarterly revenue in 1/1/2001, the trailing twelve months revenue is calculated as $13 million as follows.

Most Recent Quarter(s) + Most Recent Year - The Corresponding Quarter(s) 12 Months Before the Most Recent Quarter(s)

$4m + $10m - $1m = $13m


The "trailing twelve months" refer to the twelve months (one year) before the date of the earnings report.

That is, the date that the earnings report refers to, which may be as of June 30 or July 31, 2014, not today, August 30 when the report actually comes out, after being put together.

Other terms are "the past 12 months," the past year," or "the past four quarters.""

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