Currently, the Nasdaq remains relatively unchanged, the S&P 500 has declined 0.3% and the Dow has remained steady.

While the market overall has shown little change, the Semiconductors sector (XLK) is up 0.1% and its current biggest movers are:


CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
First Solar (Nasdaq:FSLR)$2.01 billion-5.6%
Avago (Nasdaq:AVGO)$8.61 billion+5.6%
InvenSense (NYSE:INVN)$1.07 billion+5.4%
Skyworks Solutions (Nasdaq:SWKS)$5.58 billion+4.7%
Benchmark Electronics (NYSE:BHE)$938.4 million+3.1%
Mellanox (Nasdaq:MLNX)$4.06 billion+2.9%
OmniVision Technologies (Nasdaq:OVTI)$881.8 million-2.1%
Broker Summary: Charles Schwab Online Brokerage

Currently trading at $21.31 per share, First Solar (Nasdaq:FSLR) has fallen 5.6%. The company's volume for the day so far is 4.3 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. When estimating the value of a particular investment, valuation ratios provide a good basis for assessing the value of an individual stock. 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. FSLR has a debt-equity ratio of 15%, which is on the low side. 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 is not a pure measurement of a company's debt because it includes operational liabilities in total liabilities.

Increasing 5.6%, Avago (Nasdaq:AVGO) is trading at $35.62 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 2.5 million shares, 1.4 times the average daily volume. A stock's volume conveys how excited investors are about it. Investment valuation ratios can be very useful in estimating whether a stock price is too high, reasonable or a bargain investment opportunity. As with most ratios, comparisons of company price/earnings to growth ratios (PEG ratios) are most appropriate for similar companies. PEG ratio for AVGO is consistent with the industry average at 1.32. Because of the adjustment for earnings growth rate, the PEG ratio is somewhat more useful than many formulas for comparing companies in different industries.

Rising 5.4%, InvenSense (NYSE:INVN) is currently trading at $13.81 per share. The company is currently trading a volume of 1.5 million shares. The trading volume for a stock indicates the level of investor interest. Investment valuation ratios provide investors with an estimation, albeit a simplistic one, of the value of a stock. The price/book value ratio, often expressed simply as "price-to-book", provides investors a way to compare the market value, or what they are paying for each share, to a conservative measure of the value of the firm. INVN has a P/B ratio of 5.98 which shows that its share price is higher than its book value. This may be a sign that the company is overvalued. P/B value ratios are particularly useful to value investors, distressed or "vulture" investors, or any other investors purchasing beaten-down securities but are less useful to investors focused on growth stocks, purchasing IPOs, or investing in technology or other "asset-lite" companies. SEE: How Buybacks Warps The Price-To-Book Ratio

Skyworks Solutions (Nasdaq:SWKS) is at $25.17 per share after an increase of 4.7%. At 11.3 million shares, the company's volume so far today is 2.6 times its average over the past three months. High volume indicates a lot of investor interest while low volume indicates the opposite. 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. There are generally two price/earnings ratios calculated: the first, called the trailing Price/Earnings ratio, is calculated using the previous years actual earnings; the second, called forward Price/Earnings ratio, is calculated using the next year's estimated earnings. SWKS has a P/E ratio of 22.2. From the investor's perspective, a stock with a lower ratio is relatively cheaper than a stock with a higher ratio. SEE: How To Use The P/E Ratio And PEG To Tell The Future Of A Stock

Benchmark Electronics (NYSE:BHE) has increased to a share price of $16.73, a 3.1% rise. The company's volume is currently 159,254 shares. When a stock price moves up or down, watching the volume is a good way of identifying how significant that shift is. Investors can use valuation ratios as tools to estimate what kind of deal a particular investment is. The debt ratio measures the leverage of a company, and a company's leverage is a good way to assess risk. BHE's debt ratio of 25.2% is on the low side. A low debt ratio means the company has more available cash flow. 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.

Mellanox (Nasdaq:MLNX) has risen 2.9% to hit a current price of $110.32 per share. At 654,218 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.3 times its current daily average. 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. Looking at a company's valuation ratios is a good way of getting a basic idea as to its value as an investment. In a nutshell, the price/sales ratio shows how much Wall Street values every dollar of the company's sales. The P/S ratio for MLNX is a high 7.91. In young companies, a high P/S ratio is a sign of sales growth that is expected to turn into earnings and cash flow. 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.

OmniVision Technologies (Nasdaq:OVTI) has decreased to $15.30 per share, a 2.1% fall. So far today, the company's volume is 1.9 million shares. In technical analysis, trading volume is used to determine the strength of a market indicator. 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 capitalization ratio is calculated by dividing long-term debt by the sum of long-term debt and shareholders' equity. OVTI has a fairly low capitalization ratio of 4.8%. Low leverage is a significant balance sheet strength, a sign of a less risky investment. This ratio is considered to be one of the more meaningful of the "debt" ratios - it delivers the key insight into the use of leverage by a company.

The Bottom Line On any given day, a particular stock may see positive or negative change in its share price. Daily stock performance should be weighed against historical performance and put in context of the market overall. Keep in mind that all these ratios should be compared against historical numbers and industry information in order to get a more complete picture.



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Tickers in this Article: FSLR, AVGO, INVN, SWKS, BHE, MLNX, OVTI

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