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What is cash from operating activities?

Cash from operating activities usually refers to the net cash inflow reported in the first section of the statement of cash flows. Cash from operating activities focuses on the cash inflows and outflows from a company's main business activities of buying and selling merchandise, providing services, etc.

Cash from operating activities excludes the amount spent on capital expenditures such as new equipment and new facilities, the cash used for other long-term investments, and the cash received from the sale of long-term assets. Cash from operating activities also excludes the amount paid to stockholders in dividends or to acquire treasury stock, the amounts received from issuing stock and bonds, and the amounts spent to retire bonds.