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A few months back, a portfolio manager my boss talks with often said they had done a study of what had led to ten-baggers. My notebook is at the office right now, but here are the characteristics I remember:

o Must start from a low valuation. Multiple expansion over time really helps returns.
o Is generally in a middle-growth industry. 7-10% topline growth. You really don't want to be in the explosive growth industries that are attracting lots of new competition. But a growth rate above GDP also helps things.
o Returns on capital better than cost of capital or the realistic potential thereof.

Those were pretty much the high points. A company doesn't necessarily have to be the best in its industry and it certainly doesn't have to be in a flashy fast-growth industry. The absence of the latter characteristic is actually a help. If I were to build new Boring criteria, the above characteristics would be in there.
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