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Tickers in this Article: SSRI, AUY, AEM, EGO, SA, SVM, RGLD
The Nasdaq remains relatively unchanged, the S&P 500 is down 0.1% and the Dow has declined 0.3% after the morning's trading.

The Gold and Silver sector (SLV) has risen 0.3% despite little change in the market overall. Currently, the biggest movers in the sector are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Silver Standard Resources Inc. (USA) (Nasdaq:SSRI)3.2 million+2.4%
Yamana Gold Inc. (USA) (NYSE:AUY).09 billion+1.6%
Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited (USA) (NYSE:AEM).45 billion-1.6%
Eldorado Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:EGO).68 billion-1.4%
Seabridge Gold, Inc. (USA) (NYSE:SA)7 million-1.3%
Silvercorp Metals Inc. (USA) (NYSE:SVM)4 million+1.2%
Royal Gold, Inc. (Nasdaq:RGLD).39 billion-1.1%
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Silver Standard Resources Inc (Nasdaq:SSRI) has moved up 2.4% and is currently trading at $11.58 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 228,622 shares. This is less trading activity than there was yesterday. When a stock price moves up or down, watching the volume is a good way of identifying how significant that shift is. Margin analysis is a great way to understand the profitability of companies. SSRI's gross profit margin is 45.7%. Operating margin provides a measure of a company's ability to pay its fixed costs such as interest on debt, particular if its business were to decline in the future. SSRI's operating profit margin is -2.9%. This means that the company came in with a net operating loss in the most recent quarter. The company's net margin is 54.8%, which is low compared to its gross margin. Investors in companies with low profit margins need to be concerned that if sales drop, profits will fall sharply as well.

Valuation ratios allow the investor to make a quick determination as to a company's investment value. 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. SSRI's debt-equity ratio of 13% is on the low end. 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.

Yamana Gold Inc (NYSE:AUY) is currently trading at $15.10 per share, a 1.6% increase. At 2.3 million shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.5 times the current daily average. If a stock price moves on high volume, this means that the change is a significant one. Margin ratios highlight companies that are worth further examination. AUY has a gross profit margin of 66.7%. The operating margin ratio can vary widely across industries, so investors should focus on comparing companies from similar industries or with similar business models. With an operating profit margin of 42.1%, AUY has a low one 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 margin is 25.3%.

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 capitalization ratio is calculated by dividing long-term debt by the sum of long-term debt and shareholders' equity. AUY has a fairly low capitalization ratio of 9.2%. Low leverage is a significant balance sheet strength, a sign of a less risky investment. Prudent use of leverage (debt) increases the financial resources available to a company for growth and expansion.

Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited (NYSE:AEM) is down 1.6% to reach $37.10 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 347,411 shares. Volume indicates the level of interest that investors have in a company at its current price. 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. The gross profit margin for AEM is 48.2%. The operating margin ratio is calculated by dividing operating income by sales and provides a measure of what percentage of a company's revenues is available to pay its fixed costs. The operating margin for AEM is 29%, which is low compared its gross profit margin. Net profit margins are those generated from all phases of a business, including taxes. The company has a negative net profit margin of -28.4%. This shows that the company reported a net loss in the most recent quarter.

Looking at a company's valuation ratios is a good way of getting a basic idea as to its value as an investment. Dividend yield measures the income that a stock will generate for an investor. AEM's dividend yield is 2.1%. It is important to remember that while a higher dividend yield is more attractive, all else being equal, a higher dividend yield can also indicate greater perceived risk. SEE: Dividend Yield For The Downturn

Currently trading at $10.63 per share, Eldorado Gold Corporation (NYSE:EGO) has fallen 1.4%. At one million shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.3 times its average over the past three months. Volume is an important indicator because it indicates how significant a price shift 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. EGO has a gross profit margin of 65.4%. Operating profit measures how much cash the business throws off, and some consider it a more reliable measure of profitability since it is harder to manipulate with accounting tricks than net earnings. Operating profit margin for EGO is 37.4%. While ratios such as price/earnings (P/E) or price/book value look at the relative attractiveness of a stock, the net profit margin ratio focuses on company performance rather that stock market valuation. The company's net profit margin is 29%.

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. EGO has a PEG ratio of 3.6. Because of the adjustment for earnings growth rate, the PEG ratio is somewhat more useful than many formulas for comparing companies in different industries.

Seabridge Gold, Inc (NYSE:SA) is currently trading at a share price of $13.34, a 1.3% decline. So far today, 49,871 shares of the company's stock have changed hands. Yesterday, 113,998 shares changed hands. 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. SA has a P/B ratio of 2.66 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

Increasing 1.2%, Silvercorp Metals Inc (NYSE:SVM) is trading at $5.18 per share. The company's volume is currently 270,847 shares for the day, 0.2 times the average daily volume. 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 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. 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. P/E ratio for SVM is 11.9. A high P/E ratio indicates a stock that is expensive, while a low P/E ratio indicates a stock that is cheap. SEE: Investment Valuation Ratios: Price/Earnings Ratio

Royal Gold (Nasdaq:RGLD) has decreased to $73.78 per share, a 1.1% fall. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 179,481 shares. If a stock price makes a big move up or down, volume lets us know the significance of that move. In making a decision about a potential or existing investment, valuation ratios are useful as a basis for seeing whether the stock price is too high, reasonable, or a bargain. While measuring a price/earnings ratio (P/E ratio) is a popular valuation technique, the measure cannot be calculated for companies without earnings, so some investors analyze the price/sales ratio. RGLD's P/S ratio of 14.59 is on the high side. 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 compare P/S ratios for companies in the same industry, as ratios can vary quite widely for companies in different industries.

The Bottom Line No matter the economic climate, Wall Street will always have stocks that make major moves each week. Daily stock performance should be weighed against historical performance and put in context of the market overall. However, these fundamental metrics must be analyzed with historic data, industry information in addition to firm specific financial statements.

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