what is a cash cow

The BCG Matrix has its own limitations, since it’s a very simple tool using only two dimensions—market share and market growth. Each of these examples illustrates how companies leverage these assets to maintain financial stability, fund growth in other areas, and achieve a balanced business portfolio. The profit generated by these offerings is more than what is required to maintain the business. Hence, these profits are used to finance other activities carried out by the firm. A dominant player in the printer market is HP or the Hewlett-Packard company.

Risks and Challenges with Cash Cows

It may get harder to retain your market share without aggressive discounting. A cash cow is a product that produces steady ‘milk’ (profit) long after the initial cost of investment has been recovered! Companies can become overly reliant on their cash cows for profitability, especially if other business units are not generating adequate returns. This dependence can lead to vulnerability if market conditions change or if the cash cow’s performance declines. A cash cow is one of the four categories (quadrants) in the growth-share, BCG matrix that represents a product, product line, or company with a large market share within a mature industry. A cash cow has a large market share in a mature industry.

Printing division of HP

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what is a cash cow

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Coke is the perfect example of a cash cow because it generates abnormal profit in a mature market. It’s printing division has brought the company substantial levered vs unlevered cash flow in real estate revenues. Thus, it is no doubt that the printing division has been HP’s greatest profit generator over the years, making it the company’s cash cow.

  1. Furthermore, companies can use them as leverage for future expansions, as lenders are more willing to lend money knowing that the debt will be serviced.
  2. Paul Boyce is an economics editor with over 10 years experience in the industry.
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  4. For example, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes has found for itself a centre spot in the cereal industry, making it the market leader of a mature market.
  5. However, since these markets are mature, the focus is often on maintaining market share rather than seeking expansive growth.
  6. They also thrive in sectors with competitive barriers to entry.

A cash cow is a metaphor for a dairy cow that produces milk over the course of its life and requires little to no maintenance. The phrase is applied to a business that is also similarly low-maintenance. Modern-day cash cows require little investment capital and perennially provide positive cash flows, which can be allocated to other divisions within a corporation. The BCG matrix is a tool to evaluate the products of a company, and thereby help to decide where the company’s resources can best be allocated to maximize profits in the future.

For example, consider the following situation in a low-growth market. Suppose that the demand for soap is 100 and your share is 30. Since the demand rarely increases, you must fiercely compete with other companies to increase your share and consequently grow your business. In a high-growth market, on the other hand, your business can be increased in conjunction with the growing market. When the total market demand grows to 150, your sales will also grow to 45, simply by maintaining your market share at 30%.

A BCG matrix divides the product portfolio into four types and assigns cash cows a spot wherein the growth rate is low, and the relative market share is high. A cash cow is a business division or product with a significant market share in a mature market that guarantees substantially high returns on investment. Coca-Cola’s flagship product, its signature cola soft drink, is a cash cow that has maintained a high market share in the global soft drink market for many years. The stable cash flow from this product allows the company to invest in new product development, marketing, and expansion into new markets. Apple’s iPhone, despite facing stiff competition in the smartphone market, has a solid user base that ensures steady sales and substantial profits. The income generated from the iPhone allows Apple to invest in research and development, introduce new products, and expand its services segment.

The action you just performed triggered the security solution. There are several actions that could trigger this block including submitting a certain word or phrase, a SQL command or malformed data. For example, the Mexican government drew the income from its state oil & gas company PEMEX. Feedough expense ratio calculator the real cost of fees is the one-stop resource for everything related to startups. Our philosophy is to research, curate, and provide the best startup feeds and resources to help you succeed in your venture. We are currently ranked as the 13th best startup website in the world and are paving our way to the top.

If they’re able to maintain their market share, they will eventually become cash cows once market growth slows down. Lastly, dogs are the business units with low market shares in low-growth markets. There is no large investment requirement, and they don't generate large cash https://www.quick-bookkeeping.net/what-is-overtime/ flows. Often, dogs are phased out in an effort to salvage the organization. Question marks are the business units experiencing low market share in a high-growth industry. They require large amounts of cash to capture more of or sustain their position within the market.