(17) Earnings per share
Accounting and measurement policies
Earnings per share
Basic earnings per share is calculated by dividing the profit after taxes attributable to the shareholders of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany (net income) by the weighted average number of theoretical shares outstanding. The calculation of the theoretical number of shares is based on the fact that the general partner’s equity is not represented by shares. Corresponding to the division of the subscribed capital of € 168 million into 129,242,252 shares (see Note (34) “Equity”), the general partner’s equity of € 397 million equates to 305,535,626 theoretical shares. Overall, equity capital thus amounted to € 565 million or 434,777,878 theoretical shares outstanding.
As in the previous year, equity capital remained unchanged in fiscal 2020. The weighted average (basic) number of shares was 434,777,878 and thus corresponded to the number of theoretical shares outstanding. In fiscal 2020, there were no shares with a potential diluting effect; as a result, the diluted earnings per share were equivalent to basic earnings per share. The earnings per share attributable to discontinued operations in fiscal 2019 resulted from the divestment of the Consumer Health business as of December 1, 2018.