Currently, the Nasdaq has moved up 0.2%, the S&P 500 is trading up 0.1% and the Dow remains relatively unchanged. Most stocks on the Nasdaq Composite Index are technology and Internet-related, but there are financial, consumer, bio-tech and industrial companies as well.

The biggest movers traded on the NASDAQ so far are:


CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
The Middleby Corporation (Nasdaq:MIDD)$1.88 billion+18.6%
Universal Display Corporation (Nasdaq:PANL)$1.52 billion+16.3%
Tower Semiconductor Ltd. (USA) (Nasdaq:TSEM)$3.32 billion-16.2%
Elizabeth Arden, Inc. (Nasdaq:RDEN)$1.14 billion+14.8%
Genomic Health, Inc. (Nasdaq:GHDX)$941.5 million+14%
Monster Beverage Corp (Nasdaq:MNST)$11.94 billion-7.7%
OSI Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:OSIS)$1.28 billion+5.5%
Broker Summary: OptionsXpress Online Trading Platform

After a big jump of 18.6%, Middleby (Nasdaq:MIDD) is trading at $118.83 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 603,190 shares, above yesterday's volume of 114,642 shares. Volume indicates the level of interest that investors have in a company at its current price. Investment valuation ratios provide investors with an estimation, albeit a simplistic one, of the value of a stock. The P/E ratio has been used for ages by analysts and still remains one of the most relevant pieces of stock valuation. Relative to the industry P/E ratio of 27.73, MIDD's 18.7 is low. A low P/E ratio may indicate that the market expects relatively slower earnings growth. High P/E stocks could be "growth" stocks, while low PE stocks may be "value" stocks. SEE: Profit With The Power Of Price-To-Earnings

Universal (Nasdaq:PANL) is trading at $38.16 per share, a significant rise of 16.3%. The company's volume for the day so far is 2.1 million shares. Volume is used to evaluate how meaningful the price movement of a stock is. Looking at a company's valuation ratios is a good way of getting a basic idea as to its value as an investment. When used consistently and uniformly, the price/earnings to growth (PEG) ratio is an essential tool that adds dimension to the price/earnings ratio, allows comparisons across diverse industries and is always on the lookout for value. PANL's PEG ratio is 7.13. Because of the adjustment for earnings growth rate, the PEG ratio is somewhat more useful than many formulas for comparing companies in different industries.

After a precipitous drop of 16.2%, Tower Semiconductor Ltd (Nasdaq:TSEM) is now trading at a share price of $8.65. At 45,553 shares, the company's volume so far today is 1.4 times its current three-month average. A stock's volume conveys how excited investors are about it. It is important for an investor to estimate the value of any potential or existing investment; valuation ratios make this easier. The easy-to-calculate debt ratio is helpful to investors looking for a quick take on the leverage for a company. The debt ratio for TSEM is 82.5%, which is relatively high. This might mean that the company now has low borrowing capacity, which reduces it's financial flexibility. However, one thing to note with this ratio: it isn't a pure measure of a company's debt (or indebtedness), as it also includes operational liabilities, such as accounts payable and taxes payable.

Elizabeth Arden (Nasdaq:RDEN) rose a significant 14.8% to reach $44.73 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 731,765 shares. This is 5.6 times its average daily volume. 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. A price/sales ratio is derived by dividing stock market price by company sales. The P/S ratio for RDEN is 0.84, which is relatively low. The lower the P/S ratio, the more reasonably price the stock, all else being equal. A limitation of the P/S ratio is that the price component measures only stock market captialization, while sales are a function of the entire capital structure, potentially leading to wide differences between levered and unlevered companies.

After a big jump of 14%, Genomic Health (Nasdaq:GHDX) is trading at $35.73 per share. The company's volume is currently 345,417 shares for the day, more than yesterday's 131,508 shares. As a stock moves up or down, it is important to pay attention to the trading volume. This indicates the level of interest: the higher the volume, the more the interest. Investors can make use of valuation ratios to estimate whether a stock is fairly valued. The price/book value ratio is calculated by dividing the current stock price by the company's book value per share. GHDX has a P/B ratio of 8.76 which shows that its share price is higher than its book value. This may be a sign that the company is overvalued. To put things in perspective, should be made among companies in the same industry rather than across industries. SEE: Using The Price-To-Book Ratio To Evaluate Companies

Monster (Nasdaq:MNST) has decreased to $62.54 per share, a 7.7% fall. So far today, 6.1 million shares have changed hands. Volume is an important indicator because it indicates how significant a price shift is. 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. Perhaps one of the most widely-used stock analysis tools is the price-to-earnings ratio, or P/E. MNST's P/E ratio of 41.9 is above the industry average of 22.47. Generally speaking, the higher the P/E ratio, the higher the market expectations for a company's future performance. To determine the P/E ratio, an investor divides the market price of the stock by the earnings-per-share (EPS) of the stock. SEE: How To Use The P/E Ratio And PEG To Tell The Future Of A Stock

OSI Systems (Nasdaq:OSIS) is at $68.01 per share after an increase of 5.5%. So far today, the company's volume is 230,232 shares, 3.3 times the average volume over the last three months. Price change alone is not enough to know how a stock is doing. Volume is an important secondary indicator used to confirm trends suggested by price movement. Investors can use valuation ratios as tools to estimate what kind of deal a particular investment is. The debt ratio gives users a quick measure of the amount of debt that the company has on its balance sheets compared to its assets. OSIS has a debt ratio of 42%, which is fairly low. In other words, the company is less sensitive to changes in business or interest rates since less of its cash flow is dedicated to paying off loan expenses. As with all financial ratios, a company's debt ratio should be compared with the industry average or similar companies.

The Bottom Line The nature of the market is such that stocks will have good days and bad days. Paying close attention to the previous ratios will help you identify key times to adjust your strategy. However, these fundamental metrics must be analyzed with historic data, industry information in addition to firm specific financial statements.



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Tickers in this Article: MIDD, PANL, TSEM, RDEN, GHDX, MNST, OSIS

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