(The LDS Church’s Mormon Temple in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah, is seen January 27, 2012. MORMONCHURCH/ REUTERS/Jim Urquhart)

If the Mormon church were a business, wealthy adherents like Mitt Romney would count as its dominant revenue stream.

Its investment strategy would be viewed as risk-averse.

It would also likely attract corporate gadflies protesting a lack of transparency. They would call for less spending on real estate and more on charitable causes to improve membership growth – the Mormons’ return on investment.

Those are a few of the conclusions that can be drawn from an analysis of the church’s finances by Reuters and University of Tampa sociologist Ryan Cragun.

Relying heavily on church records in countries that require far more disclosure than the United States, Cragun and Reuters estimate that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints brings in some $7 billion annually in tithes and other donations.