There are some incidents that may show up on a company’s income statement that should be considered exceptions or extraordinary. These are generally beyond the company’s control and are called extraordinary item—gain or extraordinary item—loss. Some examples include lawsuits, restructuring, or even a natural disaster. If you exclude these from your analysis, you can probably get a sense of the company’s future performance.
However, think critically about these items, and use your judgment. If a company has a pattern of reporting the same extraordinary item year after year, it might not be too extraordinary. Also, if there are unexpected losses year after year, this can be a sign that the company is having financial problems. Extraordinary items are supposed to be unusual and nonrecurring. Also, beware of a pattern of write-offs.