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Tickers in this Article: JLL, Z, EPR, ALX, ARR, EGP, VNO
The Nasdaq has risen 2.2%, the S&P 500 has increased 2.1% and the Dow has moved up 1.8%, marking a bad morning for the market.

The Real Estate Operations sector (IYR) is up 1%, underperforming the market overall. The biggest movers in the sector are currently:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated (NYSE:JLL)$2.83 billion+4.6%
Zillow Inc (Nasdaq:Z)$1.05 billion+3.8%
Entertainment Properties Trust (NYSE:EPR)$2.09 billion+2.7%
Alexander\'s, Inc. (NYSE:ALX)$2.16 billion+2.6%
ARMOUR Residential REIT, Inc. (NYSE:ARR)$1.45 billion-2.1%
Eastgroup Properties Inc (NYSE:EGP)$1.52 billion+2.1%
Vornado Realty (NYSE:VNO)$15.58 billion+2%
Beginner's Guide To

After an increase of 4.6%, Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE:JLL) has reached a current price of $67.66. So far today, the company's volume is 126,292 shares, on pace to finish the day below yesterday's volume of 622,196 shares. Volume is an important indicator because it indicates how significant a price shift is. 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 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. JLL has a low P/S ratio of 0.98. Low P/S ratios are more attractive than high ratios because this indicates that an investor is paying less for each dollar of sales. 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.

Zillow (Nasdaq:Z) has moved up 3.8% and is currently trading at $37.71 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 396,854 shares. Volume is also used as a secondary indicator to help confirm what the price movement is suggesting. Looking at a company's valuation ratios is a good way of getting a basic idea as to its value as an investment. The debt ratio gives users a quick measure of the amount of debt that the company has on its balance sheets compared to its assets. Z has a debt ratio of 12.7%, which is fairly low. 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.

Entertainment (NYSE:EPR) has risen 2.7% to hit a current price of $45.77 per share. At 49,737 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.2 times its current three-month 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. Valuation ratios allow the investor to make a quick determination as to a company's investment value. The debt-equity (D/E) ratio is a leverage ratio. EPR's D/E ratio is 86%. The D/E ratio percentage provides a much more dramatic perspective on a company's leverage position than the debt ratio percentage.

Alexander's (NYSE:ALX) is up 2.6% to reach a current price of $434 per share. This morning, the company's volume is 2,088 shares. This is one times its current daily average. If a stock price moves on high volume, this means that the change is a significant one. A wide array of ratios can be used by investors to estimate the attractiveness of a potential or existing investment and get an idea of its valuation. 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. The capitalization ratio for ALX is 78.7%, which is fairly high. A high capitalization ratio is not necessarily bad since higher financial leverage can increase the return on a shareholder's investment. The capitalization ratio is one of the more meaningful debt ratios because it focuses on the relationship of debt liabilities as a component of a company's total capital base, which is the capital raised by shareholders and lenders.

ARMOUR Residential REIT (NYSE:ARR) has decreased to $7.54 per share, a 2.1% fall. The company's volume is currently 52.6 million shares for the day, above yesterday's volume of 7.3 million shares. A stock's volume conveys how excited investors are about it. 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. ARR's P/E ratio of 20.1 is above the industry average of 8.49. Usually, if a stock has a high P/E ratio, it indicates that the market expects the company to grow earnings quickly in the future. A high P/E ratio indicates a stock that is expensive, while a low P/E ratio indicates a stock that is cheap. SEE: Profit With The Power Of Price-To-Earnings

Eastgroup Properties (NYSE:EGP) is currently trading at $53.31 per share, a 2.1% increase. So far today, the company's volume is 57,722 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. Investment valuation ratios provide investors with an estimation, albeit a simplistic one, of the value of a stock. Using price/earnings ratios (P/E ratios) does not give an indication of whether or not an individual company's ratio is reasonable, a shortcoming that can be corrected by using the price/earnings to growth ratio (PEG ratio). PEG ratio for EGP is 11.42. Because of the adjustment for earnings growth rate, the PEG ratio is somewhat more useful than many formulas for comparing companies in different industries.

The company's volume is currently 341,365 shares for the day, 0.4 times its average over the past three months. High volume indicates a lot of investor interest while low volume indicates the opposite. Understanding investment valuation ratios allows an investor to assess the true value of an individual stock. The price/book value ratio is especially important for value investors as it can provide an indication of the true value of a company's assets at a time when its business model may be failing. The P/B ratio for VNO is 2.73, indicating that the stock is trading for more than its book value. It is important to take the company's debt into account when using the P/B ratio as debt can boost a company's liabilities to the point where they wipe out much of the book value of its hard assets, creating artificially high P/B values. 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: Investment Valuation Ratios: Price/Book Value Ratio

The Bottom Line The nature of the market is such that stocks will have good days and bad days. 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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