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Tickers in this Article: GPOR, SM, DK, FGP, BBG, SNP, CRZO
It's been a good morning for the market. The Nasdaq has risen 0.2%; the S&P 500 is up 0.1%; and the Dow has moved up 0.2%.

Despite a good day for the overall market so far, the Oil and Gas Operations sector (DIG) is down 0.2% and its current biggest movers are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Gulfport (Nasdaq:GPOR)$1.43 billion+7.1%
SM (NYSE:SM)$3.11 billion+5.9%
Delek US Holdings (NYSE:DK)$1.6 billion-5.1%
Ferrellgas Partners (NYSE:FGP)$1.64 billion-5%
Bill (NYSE:BBG)$1.06 billion+3.2%
China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (NYSE:SNP)$79.23 billion-3%
Carrizo Oil & Gas (Nasdaq:CRZO)$1.03 billion+2.9%
Broker Summary: Charles Schwab Online Brokerage

Increasing 7.1%, Gulfport (Nasdaq:GPOR) is trading at $27.53 per share. So far today, 1.1 million shares of the company's stock have changed hands. 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. Investors can make use of valuation ratios to estimate whether a stock is fairly valued. The debt-equity (D/E) ratio compares the total liabilities for a company to its total shareholder equity. GPOR has a low debt-equity ratio of 10%. 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.

SM (NYSE:SM) is up 5.9% to reach a current price of $50.49 per share. At 459,115 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.8 times the average daily volume. 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 price/earnings to growth (PEG) ratio divides a company's P/E ratio by its growth rate of earnings-per-share. SM's PEG ratio is 1.26. 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.

Delek US Holdings (NYSE:DK) has fallen 5.1% and is currently trading at $26 per share. The company is currently trading a volume of 585,726 shares. Volume is also used as a secondary indicator to help confirm what the price movement is suggesting. 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. Price/earnings ratios (P/E ratios) provide a measure of the relative value of a stock. DK's P/E ratio of 8.1 falls below the industry average of 11.46. 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. To determine the P/E ratio, an investor divides the market price of the stock by the earnings-per-share (EPS) of the stock. SEE: Can Investors Trust the P/E Ratio?

Ferrellgas Partners (NYSE:FGP) is currently trading at a share price of $19.75, a 5% decline. The company's volume is currently 231,976 shares for the day, consistent with its average over the last 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. 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. FGP has a capitalization ratio of 95.7%, which is on the high end. If the company is a company is in a highly competitive business and hobbled by high debt, it will find its competitors taking advantage of its problems to grab more market share. A low level of debt and a healthy proportion of equity in a company's capital structure is an indication of financial fitness.

Bill (NYSE:BBG) is currently trading at $22.77 per share, a 3.2% increase. The company's volume is currently 791,426 shares. Volume is used to evaluate how meaningful the price movement of a stock is. 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/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. The P/B ratio for BBG is 0.89 because the stock is trading for less than its book value. Industries that require more infrastructure capital (for each dollar of profit) will usually trade at P/B ratios much lower than those that don't. Users need to be careful when applying this ratio though, as it is more useful for industrial companies that have a lot of tangible assets than it is for technology or consumer product companies that may not have much in the way of hard assets. SEE: How Buybacks Warps The Price-To-Book Ratio

At $88.61, China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (NYSE:SNP) has slipped 3%. At 48,158 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.8 times its current daily average. If a stock price makes a big move up or down, volume lets us know the significance of that move. Valuation ratios allow the investor to make a quick determination as to a company's investment value. The dividend yield is measured by taking the annual dividends per share and dividing that number by the stock price. SNP's dividend yield is 3.1%. Simply comparing the level of dividends that two stocks pay does not give a true reflection of which security is more attractive, so investors calculate the dividend yield in order to standardize dividend payments. SEE: Guide To Stock-Picking Strategies: Income Investing

Carrizo Oil & Gas (Nasdaq:CRZO) has risen 2.9% and is currently trading at $26.60 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 373,674 shares. In technical analysis, trading volume is used to determine the strength of a market indicator. 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. A price/sales ratio is derived by dividing stock market price by company sales. CRZO has a high P/S ratio of 3.42. This could be a good sign if the share price increases. A limitation of the P/S ratio is that the price component measures only stock market captialization, while sales are a function of the entire capital structure, potentially leading to wide differences between levered and unlevered companies.

The Bottom Line No matter the economic climate, Wall Street will always have stocks that make major moves each week. 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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