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10-Q: A quarterly review of the status of a business. This document is filed with the SEC, and can be found at www.sec.gov.
Annual Report: A yearly review of the status of a business that a company sends to its shareholders every year. A company's annual report is usually similar to its 10-K filing, but 10-Ks are usually all text, while annual reports are usually loaded with pictures and graphs.
Arbitrage: The purchase and sale of a single security in two different markets. For example, suppose that Costco stock is selling for $30 per share on the NASDAQ and $31 per share on the Chinese market. I might buy costco on the NASDAQ and short it on the Chinese market in order to pocket the $1 difference.
Combined Ratio: An insurance company's combined ratio is its total expenses (underwriting expenses plus incurred losses) as a percentage of revenues. If you subtract this number from 1, you'll get the underwriting profit margin. For example, if Jeff's Insurance Co has a combined ratio of .96, its underwriting profit margin is 1 - 0.96, which is .04 (4%).
Credit Rating: An assessment on an entity's ability to pay its debt, which is usually made by Moodys or Standard and Poors. For example, if company XYZ has a high credit rating, its bonds are considered to be safe investments. Ratings range from AAA(highest) to D(deafult). See www.moodys.com and www.standardandpoors.com for more information.
Depreciation: See Straight Line Depreciation
EBITDA: Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization. This metric is widely used in the financial industry, but it isn't very useful by itself; it ignores depreciation which represents an actual cost.
Inventory Turnover: The number of times that a firm's inventory is replaced in a given year. Defined as a company's annual cost of goods sold divided by the its average inventory over a one year period.
Maintenance Capital Expenditures (or Maintenance Cap Ex): The money that a business must invest in properties, plants, and equipment in order to maintain its operations and its competitive position. This does not include investments that must be made in order to grow the business.
Straight Line Depreciation: Long term assets decrease in value over time, and "depreciation" estimates this decrease. For example, if my company buys a building for $300,000, if the building has a salvage value of $0, and if that building has a useful life of 30 years, I will take a $10,000 depreciation expense each year.
Undervalued Stock: A stock that is trading at a discount to its intrinsic value.
Zero Coupon Bond: This type of bond does not pay interest over time. All interest is paid when the bond reaches its maturity date.