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GROSS PROFIT MARGIN ON SALES (GPM) is one of the key performance indicators. The gross profit margin gives an indication on whether the average markup on goods and services is sufficient to cover expenses and make a profit. GPM shows the relationship between sales and the direct cost of products/services sold. It measures the ability of both to control costs and to pass along price increases through sales to customers. The gross profit margin should be stable over time. A persistent gradual decrease is likely to indicate that productivity needs to be increased to return profitability back to previous levels. Generally:

>40% = Indicates a sustainable competitive advantage

< 40% = Indicates competition may be eroding margins

< 20% = There is likely no sustainable competitive advantage

Formula: Gross Profit / Net Revenue

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PROJECTION is an approximation of future events. Usually a projection is made by extrapolating known information into the future period, considering events that could affect the outcome. See FORECAST, BUDGET.

PAYBACK PERIOD, in capital budgeting, is the length of time needed to recoup the cost of CAPITAL INVESTMENT. The payback period is the ratio of the initial investment (cash outlay, regardless of the source of the cash) to the annual cash inflows for the recovery period. The major shortcoming for the payback period method is that it does not take into account cash flows after the payback period and is therefore not a measure of the profitability of an investment project. For this reason, analysts generally prefer the DISCOUNTED CASH FLOW methods of capital budgeting; primarily, the INTERNAL RATE OF RETURN and the NET PRESENT VALUE methods.

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