Look for scale and operating leverage. These characteristics can provide significant barriers to entry and lead to impressive financial performance.
Look for recurring revenue. Long-term customer contracts can guarantee certain levels of revenue for years into the future. This can provide a degree of stability in financial results.
Focus on cash flow. Investors ultimately earn returns based on a company's cash-generating ability. Avoid investments that aren't expected to generate adequate cash flow.
Size the market opportunity. Industries with big, untapped market opportunities provide an attractive environment for high growth. In addition, companies chasing markets perceived to be big enough to accommodate growth for all industry participants are less likely to compete on price alone.
Examine growth expectations. Understand what kind of growth rates are incorporated into the share price. If the rates of growth are unrealistic, avoid the stock.
Ref: The Five Rules for Successful Stock Investing by Pat Dorsey
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