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Tickers in this Article: EZCH, PKE, TSRA, HITT, CRUS, CODE, PANL
The Nasdaq is trading up 0.2%, the S&P 500 has moved up 0.1% and the Dow has risen 0.2%, marking a bad morning for the market.

The Semiconductors sector (XLK) is up 0.2%, underperforming the market overall. The biggest movers in the sector are currently:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
EZchip (Nasdaq:EZCH)$979.9 million-2.9%
Park (NYSE:PKE)$541.3 million-2.5%
Tessera Technologies (Nasdaq:TSRA)$799 million-2.5%
Hittite (Nasdaq:HITT)$1.67 billion-2%
Cirrus Logic (Nasdaq:CRUS)$2.69 billion+1.9%
Spansion (NYSE:CODE)$692.2 million+1.7%
Universal (Nasdaq:PANL)$1.9 billion-1.6%
Broker Summary: TD Ameritrade Thinkorswim

Currently trading at $33.99 per share, EZchip (Nasdaq:EZCH) has fallen 2.9%. So far today, the company's volume is 167,203 shares, 0.4 times the average daily volume. The trading volume for a stock indicates the level of investor interest. 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/earnings to growth (PEG) ratio compares a company's P/E ratio to its earnings-per-share growth rate, which tells you whether or not you are getting a good value when purchasing a stock with a high price/earnings ratio (P/E ratio). EZCH has a PEG ratio of 4.66. Because of the adjustment for earnings growth rate, the PEG ratio is somewhat more useful than many formulas for comparing companies in different industries.

Falling 2.5%, Park (NYSE:PKE) is currently at a share price of $25.38. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 12,573 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. 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. The price/book value ratio is one of the more common methods of determining whether a stock is fairly valued. PKE's stock is trading for more than its book value with a P/B ratio of 1.52. This may be a sign that the company is overvalued. All else being equal, a stock with a low P/B value ratio is more attractive than a stock with a high ratio. SEE: Investment Valuation Ratios: Price/Book Value Ratio

Tessera Technologies (Nasdaq:TSRA) is trading at $15 per share, down 2.5%. At 286,270 shares, the company's volume so far today is one times its average over the past three months. As a stock moves up or down, it is important to pay attention to the trading volume. This indicates the level of interest: the higher the volume, the more the interest. Investors can use valuation ratios as tools to estimate what kind of deal a particular investment is. The dividend yield is measured by taking the annual dividends per share and dividing that number by the stock price. TSRA's dividend yield is 2.6%. Just as with the yield on a bond or certificate of deposit, the higher the dividend yield, the higher the return to the investor. SEE: Due Diligence On Dividends

At $51.78, Hittite (Nasdaq:HITT) has slipped 2%. The company's volume is currently 69,639 shares. This is on pace to reach yesterday's trading volume of 138,205 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. Valuation ratios allow the investor to make a quick determination as to a company's investment value. The debt ratio shows the proportion of assets that a company is financing through debt. The debt ratio for HITT is a low 3.5%. This indicates that the company engages in conservative financing with opportunities to borrow in the future at no significant risk. 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.

Cirrus Logic (Nasdaq:CRUS) is at $42.36 per share after an increase of 1.9%. So far today, the company's volume is 1.2 million shares, consistent with its current daily average. 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. 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 CRUS is 4.45, which is relatively high. In young companies, a high P/S ratio is a sign of sales growth that is expected to turn into earnings and cash flow. All things being equal, a low P/S ratio is good news for investors, while a very high one can be a warning sign.

After rising 1.7%, Spansion (NYSE:CODE) is currently trading at a share price of $11.73. The company is currently trading a volume of 43,036 shares. Volume is also used as a secondary indicator to help confirm what the price movement is suggesting. When estimating the value of a particular investment, valuation ratios provide a good basis for assessing the value of an individual stock. 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. CODE's capitalization ratio is 43.1%. 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.

Universal (Nasdaq:PANL) has decreased to $40.21 per share, a 1.6% fall. The company's volume for the day so far is 217,147 shares, 0.2 times the average volume over the last three months. If a stock price makes a big move up or down, volume lets us know the significance of that move. 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. A company's price/earnings ratio (P/E ratio) provides a measure of how expensive or cheap a stock is. PANL has a P/E ratio of 90.8, high compared to the industry average of 6.65. This could mean that the market is expecting big things over the next few months or years. High P/E stocks could be "growth" stocks, while low PE stocks may be "value" stocks. SEE: The P/E Ratio: A Good Market-Timing Indicator

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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