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Tickers in this Article: RGR, VC, HI, RL, JAH, VRA, FOSL
The market is having a bad day so far. The Nasdaq has decreased 0.4%; the S&P 500 has slipped 0.8%; and the Dow is trading down 0.8%. The consumer cyclical sector is a category of stocks that relies heavily on the business cycle and economic conditions. Consumer cyclicals include industries such as automotive, housing, entertainment and retail. The category can be further divided into durable and non-durable sections. Durable cyclicals include physical goods such as hardware or vehicles, while non-durables represent items like movies or hotel services. The performance of consumer cyclicals is highly related to the state of the economy. They represent goods and services that are not considered necessities, but luxurious purchases. During contractions or recessions, people have less disposable income to spend on consumer cyclicals. When the economy is expanding or booming, the sales of these goods rise as retail and leisure spending increase.

The Consumer Cyclical sector (XLY) is currently ahead of the overall market, down only 0.1%, and its biggest movers are currently:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Sturm, Ruger & Company (NYSE:RGR)0.4 million-12.2%
Visteon Corporation (NYSE:VC).72 billion-5.1%
Hillenbrand, Inc. (NYSE:HI).06 billion+4.5%
Polo Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL).62 billion-3.7%
Jarden Corporation (NYSE:JAH).59 billion+3.6%
Vera Bradley, Inc. (Nasdaq:VRA)5.5 million+3.1%
Fossil, Inc. (Nasdaq:FOSL).28 billion-2.8%
Broker Summary: OptionsXpress Online Trading Platform

Shares of Sturm, Ruger (NYSE:RGR) are currently trading at $43.12, a steep decline of 12.2%. The company is trading at a volume of 1.2 million shares. Yesterday, volume was only 828,708 shares. If a stock price makes a big move up or down, volume lets us know the significance of that move. Looking at a company's valuation ratios is a good way of getting a basic idea as to its value as an investment. The price/book value ratio is calculated by dividing the current stock price by the company's book value per share. RGR's P/B ratio of 5.51 shows that its share price is higher than its book value. This high share price relative to asset value is likely to indicate that the company has been earning a very high return on its assets. One problem with the P/B value ratio is that it can be difficult to calculate the true book value of a company, so investors should be aware that many measures of book value may provide only a rough estimate, and should be taken with a grain of salt. SEE: Using The Price-To-Book Ratio To Evaluate Companies

Visteon (NYSE:VC) has decreased to $31.03 per share, a 5.1% fall. At 330,231 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.6 times the average daily volume. In technical analysis, trading volume is used to determine the strength of a market indicator. 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 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. VC's P/S ratio of 0.36 is fairly low. Highly levered companies are likely to have lower P/S ratios because the price aspect of this ratio only measures stock market valuation while sales is a function of both stock market and bond market capitalization. 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.

Hillenbrand (NYSE:HI) has risen 4.5% and is currently trading at $17.72 per share. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 158,481 shares. Volume is also used as a secondary indicator to help confirm what the price movement is suggesting. 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 easy-to-calculate debt ratio is helpful to investors looking for a quick take on the leverage for a company. The debt ratio for HI is 56.7%. 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.

Polo Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL) is down 3.7% to reach $137.02 per share. At 523,414 shares, the company's volume so far today is in keeping with the average volume over the past three months. When a stock price moves up or down, watching the volume is a good way of identifying how significant that shift is. It is important for an investor to estimate the value of any potential or existing investment; valuation ratios make this easier. The price/earnings to growth (PEG) ratio divides a company's P/E ratio by its growth rate of earnings-per-share. RL has a PEG ratio of 1.82, which is consistent 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.

After rising 3.6%, Jarden (NYSE:JAH) is currently trading at a share price of $46.69. The company's volume for the day so far is 1.6 million shares. This is greater than yesterday's volume of 442,511 shares. The trading volume for a stock indicates the level of investor interest. Investment valuation ratios can be very useful in estimating whether a stock price is too high, reasonable or a bargain investment opportunity. The capitalization ratio is calculated by dividing long-term debt by the sum of long-term debt and shareholders' equity. JAH has a capitalization ratio of 64.2%, which is on the high end. A high capitalization ratio is not necessarily bad since higher financial leverage can increase the return on a shareholder's investment. Prudent use of leverage (debt) increases the financial resources available to a company for growth and expansion.

Vera Bradley (Nasdaq:VRA) has risen 3.1% to hit a current price of $22.27 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 178,608 shares, 0.4 times its current daily average. 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. Understanding investment valuation ratios allows an investor to assess the true value of an individual stock. 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. Relative to the industry P/E ratio of 24.74, VRA's 14.7 is low. Companies with low P/E ratios may find it easier to surprise the market to the upside, even if their financial performance is not as strong as that of companies with high P/E ratios. A high P/E ratio indicates a stock that is expensive, while a low P/E ratio indicates a stock that is cheap. SEE: How To Use The P/E Ratio And PEG To Tell The Future Of A Stock

At $67.13, Fossil (Nasdaq:FOSL) has slipped 2.8%. So far today, 648,469 shares have changed hands. High volume indicates a lot of investor interest while low volume indicates the opposite. 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-equity (D/E) ratio is a measurement of how much suppliers, lenders, creditors and obligors have committed to the company versus what the shareholders have committed. The debt-equity ratio of 2% is relatively low. This shows that the company's assets are financed primarily through equity. 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 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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