What are consolidated statements of operations?

Consolidated statements of operations is the heading appearing on the financial statement also referred to as the income statement. In a small survey of 14 U.S. corporations with stock that is publicly-traded, I found that eight used the title consolidated statements of operations. The other six corporations used one of the following titles: consolidated statements of income, consolidated statements of earnings, or consolidated results of operations. In the case of smaller corporations and sole proprietorships, you will more likely see the heading income statements. Seasoned business owners often refer to this financial statement as the P&L, which is short for profit and loss statement.

The word statements (instead of statement) is used in the heading because publicly-traded U.S. corporations are required to present the income statements for each of their most recent three accounting years.

The term consolidated is used in the heading of the financial statements when the corporation controls several separate legal entities but is reporting the results as one economic entity.