The purpose of a one-hour analysis is to quickly evaluate the positive and negative attributes of a company. The key question is how much more time do I want to spend on this company. The job of a generalist is make quick decisions about when further investigation is warranted, and when it is best to move along.
It takes experience to develop this skill. Early on a one-hour analysis can easily take 3-4 hours. After a while, it is often possible to dismiss a company in 15 minutes. We have never seen this skill discussed in any other text or book about investment analysis. The best way to learn is to start by actually doing some.
We like to start with a Value Line page. Most of what we look for is also present on Moringstar, Gurufocus, Google Finance and or Yahoo Finance. Here are some of the things we look for: