Highlights the operating cycle, its importance, and reviews basic relationships related to the cycle. In particular, it focuses on capital “flow through”, invested capital, capital at risk, and economic returns generated relative to capital employed. Reveals an amplification effect that results from improvements in the management of the cycle, that benefit traceable to a reduction in operating risk allowing incremental benefits from financial leverage. Suggests specific actions to take with respect to the cycle that will improve the value of your firm. Shows that small improvements in operating factors within the cycle yield amplified benefits to the firm. The discussion ignores taxes except in instances when tax effects are important. This does not detract from the discourse or conclusions. Reveals that increases in firm value that result from improved management of the operating cycle stem from several sources: greater levels of economic returns from operations; a reduction in operating risk; less capital invested and at lower risk; lower cost of capital; and increased tax benefit.
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