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Phil Fisher: Background conditions

“To look at the per-share earnings by themselves and give the earnings of four or five years ago any significance is like trying to get useful work from an engine which is unconnected to any device to which that engine’s power is supposed to be applied. Just knowing, by itself, that four or five years ago a company’s per-share earnings were either four times or a quarter of this year’s earnings has almost no significance in indicating whether a particular stock should be bought or sold. Again, what counts is knowledge of background conditions. An understanding of what probably will happen over the next several years is of overriding importance.”

—Phil Fisher.


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