On the annual accounts of many large companies there will be a change in their retained earnings for the year that is completely disproportionate to their net income or loss for that year. Why is this?
For example, with Barclays most recent annual accounts for the year ended 2018, they show a net profit of 2.372 billion, but their retained earnings rose by 16 billion (from 27.5b to 43.4b). How can this be?
Note it is not just with Barclays or banks but with many large companies whose financial statements I inspect.