All industries pass through various stages of growth, stability and decline. These phases can be measured in terms of growth, earnings, and profitability. The diagram below illustrates the early stage of a company, emerging with an idea and starting operations, growing its market share and expanding its capacity. After becoming established, a company is mature, gradually slowing its growth, but continuing to improve its profitability. Finally, an industry will begin to decline, losing market, sales, and profits.