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Tickers in this Article: HMY, AUQ, GFI, AU, IAG, SA, SSRI
The market is on the rise this morning. The Nasdaq has climbed 0.7%; the S&P 500 has moved up 0.5%; and the Dow is up 0.3%.

The Gold and Silver sector (SLV) is up 0.5%, underperforming the market overall. The biggest movers in the sector are currently:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Harmony Gold Mining Co (NYSE:HMY)$3.6 billion-4.2%
AuRico Gold (NYSE:AUQ)$1.95 billion-3.5%
Gold Fields Limited (NYSE:GFI)$9.38 billion-3.3%
AngloGold Ashanti Limited (NYSE:AU)$13.32 billion-2.9%
IAMGOLD Corporation (NYSE:IAG)$6.15 billion-2.3%
Seabridge Gold, Inc (NYSE:SA)$833 million-1.3%
Silver Standard Resources Inc (Nasdaq:SSRI)$1.26 billion-1.1%
Broker Summary: Fidelity Online Brokerage

Harmony Gold Mining Co (NYSE:HMY) is down 4.2% to reach $8 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 1.3 million shares. Volume is an important indicator in technical analysis as it is used to measure the worth of a market move. If the markets have made a strong price move either up or down the perceived strength of that move depends on the volume for that period. The higher the volume during that price move the more significant the move. 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. The easy-to-calculate debt ratio is helpful to investors looking for a quick take on the leverage for a company. HMY has a low debt ratio of 21.8%. A low debt ratio means the company has more available cash flow. As with all financial ratios, a company's debt ratio should be compared with the industry average or similar companies.

At $6.66, AuRico Gold (NYSE:AUQ) has slipped 3.5%. With one million shares changing hands so far today, the company's volume is 0.3 times the average volume over the last three months. If a stock price makes a big move up or down, volume lets us know the significance of that move. Understanding investment valuation ratios allows an investor to assess the true value of an individual stock. The debt-equity (D/E) ratio compares the total liabilities for a company to its total shareholder equity. AUQ has a low debt-equity ratio of 1%. Companies with low D/E ratios are more attractive to investors because they are better able to protect their business interests in times of decline. The D/E ratio is not a pure measurement of a company's debt because it includes operational liabilities in total liabilities.

Gold Fields Limited (NYSE:GFI) has fallen 3.3% and is currently trading at $12.45 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 1.7 million shares. 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. Valuation ratios include 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 price/earnings to growth (PEG) ratio can reveal value what price/earnings (P/E) ratios alone may not so that if a company has a high P/E ratio (an indication that its stock is overpriced) but its earnings are growing very quickly, the PEG ratio may reveal that the company is actually fairly valued, or perhaps even a bargain. GFI's PEG ratio is 1.17. 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.

Currently trading at $33.57 per share, AngloGold Ashanti Limited (NYSE:AU) has fallen 2.9%. At 985,018 shares, the company's volume so far today is in keeping with its current daily average. 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. 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 simple P/E ratio can reveal the stock's real market value and show how the valuation compares to its industry group or a benchmark like the S&P 500 Index. AU has a P/E ratio of 12.8, high compared to the industry average of 0.45. This could mean that the market is expecting big things over the next few months or years. From the investor's perspective, a stock with a lower ratio is relatively cheaper than a stock with a higher ratio. SEE: How To Find P/E And PEG Ratios

IAMGOLD Corporation (NYSE:IAG) has decreased to $15.96 per share, a 2.3% fall. The company is trading at a volume of 1.6 million shares. This is about the same trading activity as there was yesterday. A stock's volume conveys how excited investors are about it. Investors can make use of valuation ratios to estimate whether a stock is fairly valued. One of the favorite tools of many value investors is analyzing price/book value ratios, as it provides a measure of the underlying value of a company's assets as compared to the valuation of its equity. The P/B ratio for IAG is 1.63, indicating that the stock is trading for more than its book value. This may be a sign that the company is overvalued. All else being equal, a stock with a low P/B value ratio is more attractive than a stock with a high ratio. SEE: Using The Price-To-Book Ratio To Evaluate Companies

Seabridge Gold, Inc (NYSE:SA) is currently trading at a share price of $18.93, a 1.3% decline. At 78,865 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.2 times its average over the past three months. High volume indicates a lot of investor interest while low volume indicates the opposite. When estimating the value of a particular investment, valuation ratios provide a good basis for assessing the value of an individual stock. The debt ratio is calculated by dividing total liabilities by total assets. SA's debt ratio of 4.9% is on the low side. This indicates that the company engages in conservative financing with opportunities to borrow in the future at no significant risk. 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.

Silver Standard Resources Inc (Nasdaq:SSRI) is down 1.1% to reach $15.48 per share. The company is currently trading a volume of 192,928 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. Investment valuation ratios can be very useful in determining the value of a stock, but it is very important to keep in mind that while some financial ratios have general rules (or a broad application), in most instances it is a prudent practice to look at a company's historical performance and use peer company/industry comparisons to put any given company's ratio in perspective. The debt-equity (D/E) ratio is a leverage ratio. The debt-equity ratio of 13% is relatively low. This shows that the company's assets are financed primarily through equity. This easy-to-calculate ratio provides a general indication of a company's equity-liability relationship and is helpful to investors looking for a quick take on a company's leverage.

The Bottom Line On any given day, a particular stock may see positive or negative change in its share price. It is important to weigh current activity against historical performance when making any investment decisions. 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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