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Tickers in this Article: AER, TROX, WWW, UFS, HOG, VFC, DDS
After this morning's trading, the Nasdaq is down 0.5%, the S&P 500 has fallen 0.2% and the Dow has risen 0.1%. The NYSE is a stock exchange based in New York City, considered the largest equities-based exchange in the world based on total market capitalization of its listed securities.

The biggest movers traded on the NYSE so far are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
AerCap Holdings N.V. (NYSE:AER)$1.66 billion+13.5%
Wolverine World Wide, Inc. (NYSE:WWW)$1.87 billion+5.5%
Domtar Corp. (USA) (NYSE:UFS)$3.33 billion-4.1%
Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG)$10.58 billion+3.3%
VF (NYSE:VFC)$14.68 billion+3.1%
Dillard\'s, Inc. (NYSE:DDS)$3.16 billion+2.3%
Broker Summary: E-Trade Financial

AerCap Holdings (NYSE:AER) rose a significant 13.5% to reach $12.66 per share. This morning, 777,282 shares have been traded, more than yesterday's 164,710 shares. Volume indicates the level of interest that investors have in a company at its current price. Investment valuation ratios can be very useful in estimating whether a stock price is too high, reasonable or a bargain investment opportunity. A company's capitalization (not to be confused with its market capitalization) is the term used to describe the makeup of a company's permanent or long-term capital, which consists of both long-term debt and shareholders' equity. AER has a high capitalization ratio of 72.5%. A company considered too highly leveraged (too much debt) may find its freedom of action restricted by its creditors and/or have its profitability hurt by high interest costs. A low level of debt and a healthy proportion of equity in a company's capital structure is an indication of financial fitness.

So far today, 146,199 shares have changed hands. This is 0.5 times the average volume over the last three months. In technical analysis, trading volume is used to determine the strength of a market indicator. While investment valuation ratios are useful tools in estimating the attractiveness of an investment, remember that it is important to look at a company's historical performance and compare the company ratios with its competitors and industry overall. The price/book value ratio provides a way of evaluating whether a stock is relatively cheap or expensive. The P/B ratio for TROX is 2.0, indicating that the stock is trading for more than its book value. This implies that investors expect management to create more value from a given set of assets and/or that the market value of the firm's assets is significantly higher than their accounting value. P/B has its shortcomings but is still widely used as a valuation metric, more relevant for use by investors looking at capital-intensive or finance-related businesses, such as banks; book value does not carry much meaning for service-based firms with few tangible assets. SEE: How Buybacks Warps The Price-To-Book Ratio

Wolverine World Wide (NYSE:WWW) has moved up 5.5% and is currently trading at $40.45 per share. The company's volume is currently 1.8 million shares for the day, 2.4 times the average daily volume. High volume indicates a lot of investor interest while low volume indicates the opposite. Margin analysis tells us how effectively management can wring profits from sales and how much room a company has to withstand a downturn, fend off competition and make mistakes. The gross profit margin for WWW is 40.5%. Operating margin is determined by taking operating income (income minus variable expenses) and dividing it by sales. WWW has an operating profit margin of 11.4%. Net profit margin is calculated by dividing net income by sales. The company has a net profit margin of 8.5%.

Understanding investment valuation ratios allows the investor to assess the true value of an individual stock. The dividend yield is measured by taking the annual dividends per share and dividing that number by the stock price. The dividend yield for WWW is 1.3%, which is on the low end. If you are an income investor, this stock may not be attractive to you. A higher dividend yield may indicate a risk of a fall in the price of the security, or a cut in the level of dividend payments, either of which would have the effect of dropping future returns. SEE: Investment Valuation Ratios: Dividend Yield

Falling 4.1%, Domtar Corp (NYSE:UFS) is currently at a share price of $75.13. So far today, the company's volume is 232,042 shares. If a stock is trading on low volume, then there is not much interest in the stock. On the other hand, if a stock is trading on high volume, then there is a lot of interest in the stock. Calculating the profit margin is a great way to gain insight into aspects of how well a company generates and retains money. Instead of measuring how much managers earn from assets, equity or invested capital, profit-margin ratios measure how far a company stretches its total revenue or total sales. UFS has a low gross profit margin of 24.1%. Investors should track gross profit margin ratios over several years in order to see if earnings are consistent, growing or declining. Operating margin for UFS is 7.8% and net margin is 4.7%, both low relative to its gross margin.

When estimating the value of a particular investment, valuation ratios provide a good basis for assessing the value of an individual stock. The price/sales ratio measures a company's stock market price by its revenues. UFS has a low P/S ratio of 0.62. A company with a lower P/S ratio is generally considered more attractive, since investors are paying less for each dollar of sales. 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.

Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG) has increased to a share price of $47.21, a 3.3% rise. At 1.3 million shares, the company's volume so far today is which is more trading activity than there was yesterday. 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. Margin analysis tells us how effectively management can wring profits from sales and how much room a company has to withstand a downturn, fend off competition and make mistakes. The gross profit margin for HOG is 40.1%. Operating profit gives investors an opportunity to do profit-margin comparisons between companies that do not issue a separate disclosure of their cost of goods sold figures (which are needed to do gross margin analysis). HOG has an operating profit margin of 16.3%, which is low relative to its gross profit margin. Net profit margin comes as close as possible to summing-up in a single figure how effectively managers run the business. Net profit margin for the company is 12.2%.

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 is calculated by dividing total liabilities by total assets. HOG has a debt ratio of 73.2%, which is on the high side. This means that most of the company's assets are financed through debt. 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.

VF (NYSE:VFC) is currently trading at $138.21 per share, a 3.1% increase. The company is currently trading a volume of 703,969 shares. This is 0.5 times the current three-month average. When a stock price moves up or down, watching the volume is a good way of identifying how significant that shift is. Profit-margin ratios measure how much money a company squeezes from its total revenue or total sales. Investors can look at a company's gross profit margin, operating profit margin and net margin to understand a company's profitability. VFC's gross profit margin is 47.5%. Investors trying to assess a company's ability to continue to pay its fixed expenses even if its business declines may want to evaluate the operating margin ratio. Operating profit margin for VFC is 12.3%. A high net profit margin indicates a highly profitable company, and a low profit margin indicates the opposite. Net margin is 9%.

Valuation ratios like 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 are useful in determining how attractive a potential or existing investment is. Price/earnings ratios (P/E ratios) provide a measure of the relative value of a stock. VFC has a P/E ratio of 16.7, high compared to the industry average of 15.0. A company with a high P/E ratio will eventually have to live up to the high rating by substantially increasing its earnings, or the price will need to drop. 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: Understanding The P/E Ratio

Rising 2.3%, Dillard's (NYSE:DDS) is currently trading at $66.13 per share. At 250,316 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.4 times its current daily average. Volume is used to evaluate how meaningful the price movement of a stock is. Profit-margin ratios can give investors deeper insight into management efficiency than earnings alone can provide. Gross profit margin, operating profit margin and net margin are commonly used margins. DDS has a gross profit margin of 36.8%. As with other margin ratios, the operating margin is a percentage, which allows for more standardized comparison across time and among different companies of different sizes. DDS has an operating profit margin of 9.3%. Ideally, a company's profit margin should be stable or rising; declining profit margin should be cause for concern or further investigation. The company's net profit margin is 7.4%.

It is important for an investor to estimate the value of any potential or existing investment; valuation ratios make this easier. To a large degree, the debt-equity (D/E) ratio provides another vantage point on a company's leverage position, in this case, comparing total liabilities to shareholders' equity, as opposed to total assets in the debt ratio. DDS has a low debt-equity ratio of 42%. 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. Paying close attention to the previous ratios will help you identify key times to adjust your strategy. 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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