The Very Basic of Fundamental Analysis

³ Fundamental Analysis

³ The Very Basics

³ Fundamentals: Quantitative and Qualitative

³ Quantitative Meets Qualitative

³ The Concept of Intrinsic Value

³ Criticisms of Fundamental Analysis

³ Business Model

³ Competitive Advantage

³ Management

³ Conference Calls & Management Discussion and Analysis (MD&A)

³ Ownership and Insider Sales & Past Performance

³ Corporate Governance

³ Financial and Information Transparency & Stakeholder Rights & Structure of the Board of Directors

³ Customers & Market Share

³ Industry Growth & Competition

³ Regulation


Competitive Advantage

Another business consideration for investors is competitive advantage. A company's long-term success is driven largely by its ability to maintain a competitive advantage - and keep it. Powerful competitive advantages, such as Coca Cola's brand name and Microsoft's domination of the personal computer operating system, create a moat around a business allowing it to keep competitors at bay and enjoy growth and profits. When a company can achieve competitive advantage, its shareholders can be well rewarded for decades

Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter, distinguishes between strategic positioning and operational effectiveness. Operational effectiveness means a company is better than rivals at similar activities while competitive advantage means a company is performing better than rivals by doing different activities or performing similar activities in different ways. Investors should know that few companies are able to compete successfully for long if they are doing the same things as their competitors.

Professor Porter argues that, in general, sustainable competitive advantage gained by:
A unique competitive position

Clear tradeoffs and choices vis-à-vis competitors

Activities tailored to the company's strategy

A high degree of fit across activities (it is the activity system, not the parts, that ensure sustainability)

A high degree of operational effectiveness


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