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Cyclical companies are ones with volatile profits that fluctuate to extremes with the state of their industry or the greater economy.

Expanded Definition

Notoriously cyclical industries include automobiles, airlines, steel, natural gas, oil, refining, construction, dry bulk shipping, oil & gas service providers, financials, and hotels. Such companies typically have high fixed cost structures and narrow profit margins. Their share prices tend to swing in the same direction as the companies' profits, making for what can sometimes make for wild ride.

Cyclicals are one of Peter Lynch's six defined stock categories from his book, One Up on Wall Street. As Lynch says, "Timing is everything in cyclicals."

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