Retained ownership is a marketing strategy that can be used by cow-calf operators. Therefore, we analyze the profitability of retained ownership over the past decade. We also determine the impact of animal characteristics (e.g., average daily gain, feed conversion) and producer choice decisions (e.g., placement weight, placement season, days on feed) on retained ownership profitability. Data from 2005 to 2015 on 2,953 head of cattle originating in Tennessee and finished in Iowa using a retained ownership strategy were collected. A mixed model was developed with fixed effects for animal characteristics and producer choice variables and random effects for the feedlot, farm origin and the year cattle were harvested. Results indicate that placement weight, placement season, days on feed, animal health and animal sex impacted retained ownership profitability. Our findings could be useful for cow-calf producers to develop more profitable production and marketing strategies.