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Tickers in this Article: WTW, AZO, RGR, CPA, MON, DEL, CUB
So far today, the market has been on the rise. The Nasdaq is trading up 0.1%; the S&P 500 is up 0.2%; and the Dow has increased 0.3%. Today, more than half of all NYSE trades are conducted electronically, although floor traders are still used to set pricing and deal in high volume institutional trading.

The biggest movers traded on the NYSE so far are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Weight Watchers International (NYSE:WTW)$3.18 billion-3.2%
AutoZone (NYSE:AZO)$13.4 billion+3%
Sturm, Ruger (NYSE:RGR)$982.5 million-2.9%
Copa Holdings (NYSE:CPA)$3.68 billion+2.8%
Monsanto (NYSE:MON)$47.46 billion+2.7%
Deltic (NYSE:DEL)$845.2 million-2.6%
Cubic (NYSE:CUB)$1.35 billion-2.5%
Broker Summary: OptionsXpress Online Trading Platform

Weight Watchers International (NYSE:WTW) is currently trading at a share price of $55.41, a 3.2% decline. So far this morning, 389,698 shares have changed hands. This is 0.4 times its current daily average. In technical analysis, trading volume is used to determine the strength of a market indicator. A wide array of ratios can be used by investors to estimate the attractiveness of a potential or existing investment and get an idea of its valuation. One of the most important estimates of stock market valuation is the price/earnings ratio (P/E ratio). WTW's P/E ratio is 14.2. From the investor's perspective, a stock with a lower ratio is relatively cheaper than a stock with a higher ratio. SEE: The P/E Ratio: A Good Market-Timing Indicator

AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) is currently trading at $368.58 per share, a 3% increase. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 1.1 million shares. A stock's volume conveys how excited investors are about it. Investors can use valuation ratios as tools to estimate what kind of deal a particular investment is. As with most ratios, comparisons of company price/earnings to growth ratios (PEG ratios) are most appropriate for similar companies. AZO's PEG ratio of 0.96 is in line with the industry average. While P/E ratios are important indicators of market value, a high P/E in and of itself is not bad because it may indicate a company whose earnings are growing very rapidly, so many investors look at the PEG ratio in order to get an idea of whether or not a particular P/E ratio is justified by underlying earnings growth.

Sturm, Ruger (NYSE:RGR) is trading at $49.80 per share, down 2.9%. So far today, the company's volume is 219,587 shares, in keeping with its current three-month average. Volume is also used as a secondary indicator to help confirm what the price movement is suggesting. Investment valuation ratios provide investors with an estimation, albeit a simplistic one, of the value of a stock. The price/sales ratio measures a company's stock market value by its total revenues or alternatively, a company's price per share by its revenue per share. The P/S ratio for RGR is a high 1.9. This could be a good sign if the share price increases. It is important to keep in mind when looking at the P/S ratio that just because a company is generating revenues, this does not mean that the company is profitable, and in the long run, profits drive stock prices.

Increasing 2.8%, Copa Holdings (NYSE:CPA) is trading at $85.47 per share. So far today, 94,237 shares of the company's stock have changed hands. This is about the same trading activity as there was yesterday. The trading volume for a stock indicates the level of investor interest. A company's investment value can be estimated using valuation ratios such as the price to earnings (P/E) ratio, the price to earnings growth (PEG) ratio, the price to sales (P/S) ratio, the price to book (P/B) ratio, and the dividend yield. The debt ratio measures the leverage of a company, and a company's leverage is a good way to assess risk. The debt ratio for CPA is 56.5%. As with all financial ratios, a company's debt ratio should be compared with the industry average or similar companies.

Rising 2.7%, Monsanto (NYSE:MON) is currently trading at $91.50 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 2.6 million shares, one times the average daily volume. Volume is used to evaluate how meaningful the price movement of a stock is. It is important for an investor to estimate the value of any potential or existing investment; valuation ratios make this easier. Dividend yield measures the income that a stock will generate for an investor. MON's dividend yield of 1.7% is fairly low. If you are an income investor, this stock may not be attractive to you. It is important to remember that while a higher dividend yield is more attractive, all else being equal, a higher dividend yield can also indicate greater perceived risk. SEE: Dividend Yield For The Downturn

Deltic (NYSE:DEL) is down 2.6% to reach $65.05 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 11,186 shares. If a stock price moves on high volume, this means that the change is a significant one. When estimating the value of a particular investment, valuation ratios provide a good basis for assessing the value of an individual stock. The capitalization ratio measures the debt component of the capital structure, or capitalization of a company (i.e., the sum of long-term debt liabilities and shareholder equity) to support operations and growth. The capitalizion ratio of 20.7% is on the low end. A low capitalization ratio can signify a failure to leverage equity into investment, missing valuable opportunities for growth and expansion. A low level of debt and a healthy proportion of equity in a company's capital structure is an indication of financial fitness.

Cubic (NYSE:CUB) has decreased to $49.27 per share, a 2.5% fall. With 28,137 shares changing hands so far today, the company's volume is 0.4 times its average over the past three months. High volume indicates a lot of investor interest while low volume indicates the opposite. A company's value as an investment is more easily estimated using valuation ratios such as the price to earnings (P/E) ratio, the price to earnings growth (PEG) ratio, the price to sales (P/S) ratio, the price to book (P/B) ratio, and the dividend yield. The debt-equity (D/E) ratio is a leverage ratio. CUB's debt-equity ratio of 2% is on the low end. A low D/E ratio may be a sign that the company is not taking advantage of leverage to increase its profits. The D/E ratio percentage provides a much more dramatic perspective on a company's leverage position than the debt ratio percentage.

The Bottom Line The nature of the market is such that stocks will have good days and bad days. Daily stock performance should be weighed against historical performance and put in context of the market overall. Tools like valuation ratios and profit margins, however, are only as useful as the context you put them in; remember to take historical data and competitor performance into account.

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