A measure which is comparable between different periods or organisations, after removing distorting effects from one-off items, or other distorting items such as exchange rate changes.
Underlying revenue and profitability are common examples.
Underlying measures should however be treated with caution, as management may - consciously or unconsciously - be influenced to present figures in ways that reflect well on its own performance.
Inflation is sometimes quoted as 'underlying inflation' in addition to the usual 'headline' basis of inflation.
'Underlying' or 'core' inflation excludes certain items considered non-typical.
This is designed to help to identify and understand trends and other comparisons.
A risk exposure being hedged, often by the use of a derivative instrument.