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Earnings

Revenues minus cost of sales, operating expenses, and taxes, over a given period of time. Earnings are the reason corporations exist, and are often the single most important determinant of a stock's price. Earnings are important to investors because they give an indication of the company's expected future dividends and its potential for growth and capital appreciation. That does not necessarily mean that low or negative earnings always indicate a bad stock; for example, many young companies report negative earnings as they attempt to grow quickly enough to capture a new market, at which point they'll be even more profitable than they otherwise might have been. also called income.

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