INVENTORY Definition

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INVENTORY for companies: includes raw materials, items available for sale or in the process of being made ready for sale (work in process) for securities: it is securities bought and held by a broker or dealer for resale. A firm that has a sustainable competitive advantage has an inventory and net earnings are rising on a corresponding basis. Inventories that spike up/down are indicative of competitive industries prone to boom/bust.

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FINANCIAL RATIO ANALYSIS is: a. an easy and valuable way to interpret and understand the numbers found in your financial statements. Understanding the relationships between the numbers can help you answer critical questions about your business -- and if you monitor the ratios on a regular basis youll gain insight into how effectively you are managing your business. And: b. lenders also like to evaluate risk by using several sets of ratios; ratios of assets to liabilities, and ratios of lender-investor dollars to owner-investor dollars. Recognize that ratios are indicators and that only you can tell the full story about your business. So the more adept you are at explaining your financial ratios to your investor/lender, the better she/he will understand your business as he/she makes a investment/credit decision.

RETAINED EARNINGS are profits of the business that have not been paid out to the owners as of the balance sheet date. The earnings have been "retained" for use in the business (Retained Earnings is an account in the equity section of the balance sheet). It is comprised of the balance, either debit or credit, of appropriated or unappropriated earnings of an entity that are retained in the business. A good rate of growth in retained earnings is an indicator that the firm enjoys a sustainable competitive advantage. NOTE: Appropriated earnings are not available for dividends, but may be used to reduce a deficit or may be transferred to stated capital. Other appropriations of profits require a vote of the shareholders.

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