Cash Cow

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DEFINITION of 'Cash Cow'

1. One of the four categories (quadrants) in the BCG growth-share matrix that represents the division within a company that has a large market share within a mature industry.

2. A business, product or asset that, once acquired and paid off, will produce consistent cash flow over its lifespan.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Cash Cow'

1. A cash cow requires little investment capital and perennially provides positive cash flows, which can be allocated to other divisions within the corporation. These cash generators may also use their money to buy back shares on the market or pay dividends to shareholders.

2. This term is a metaphor for a dairy cow that produces milk over the course of its life and requires little maintenance. A dairy cow is an example of a cash cow, as after the initial capital outlay has been paid off, the animal continues to produce milk for many years to come.

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