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Tickers in this Article: CIE, BBG, AREX, HFC, FST, IOC, ROSE
The market is doing well so far today. The Nasdaq has increased 0.6%; the S&P 500 is trading up 0.3%; and the Dow is up 0.3%.

Underperforming the market overall, the Oil and Gas Operations sector (DIG) is up 0.3%, and these are its current biggest movers:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Cobalt International Energy, Inc. (NYSE:CIE)$8.53 billion+10.4%
Bill Barrett Corporation (NYSE:BBG)$1.01 billion+4.3%
Approach Resources Inc. (Nasdaq:AREX)$928.2 million+3.6%
HollyFrontier Corp (NYSE:HFC)$8.06 billion+2.5%
Forest Oil Corporation (NYSE:FST)$853.6 million-2.4%
InterOil Corporation (USA) (NYSE:IOC)$4.19 billion-2.3%
Rosetta Resources Inc. (Nasdaq:ROSE)$2.32 billion+2%
Broker Summary: Charles Schwab Online Brokerage

Cobalt International Energy (NYSE:CIE) is trading at $22.95 per share, a significant rise of 10.4%. The company's volume for the day so far is 2.8 million shares. High volume indicates a lot of investor interest while low volume indicates the opposite. It is important for an investor to estimate the value of any potential or existing investment; valuation ratios make this easier. The debt ratio is calculated by dividing total liabilities by total assets. CIE has a debt ratio of 12%, which is fairly low. A low debt ratio means the company has more available cash flow. As with all financial ratios, a company's debt ratio should be compared with the industry average or similar companies.

Bill (NYSE:BBG) has moved up 4.3% and is currently trading at $21.82 per share. At 464,501 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.3 times its current three-month average. If a stock price moves on high volume, this means that the change is a significant one. Investors can make use of valuation ratios to estimate whether a stock is fairly valued. 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. BBG has a capitalization ratio of 48%. Prudent use of leverage (debt) increases the financial resources available to a company for growth and expansion.

Approach Resources (Nasdaq:AREX) is at $28.69 per share after an increase of 3.6%. The company is trading at a volume of 142,334 shares. This is on pace to reach yesterday's trading volume of 259,543 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. 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. One of the most important estimates of stock market valuation is the price/earnings ratio (P/E ratio). The P/E ratio for AREX is 137.9, above the industry average of 17.42. This could mean that the market is expecting big things over the next few months or years. From the investor's perspective, a stock with a lower ratio is relatively cheaper than a stock with a higher ratio. SEE: Understanding The P/E Ratio

After rising 2.5%, HollyFrontier (NYSE:HFC) is currently trading at a share price of $40.57. The company's volume is currently 3.1 million shares for the day, 0.9 times the current daily average. Volume indicates the level of interest that investors have in a company at its current price. When estimating the value of a particular investment, valuation ratios provide a good basis for assessing the value of an individual stock. If the price/book value ratio of a stock is high, it may indicate that the stock is expensive, while a lower ratio may indicate that the stock is a bargain. HFC's stock is trading for more than its book value with a P/B ratio of 1.55. This implies that investors expect management to create more value from a given set of assets and/or that the market value of the firm's assets is significantly higher than their accounting value. A weakness of the P/B value ratio is that while the price component is easily determined by looking at the stock quote, the book value component is more difficult to estimate and more open to individual interpretation and analysis. SEE: How Buybacks Warps The Price-To-Book Ratio

Forest (NYSE:FST) has decreased to $7.05 per share, a 2.4% fall. So far today, 1.2 million shares have changed hands. In technical analysis, trading volume is used to determine the strength of a market indicator. 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. 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 FST is a high 1.34. 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.

InterOil Corporation (NYSE:IOC) is trading at $85.01 per share, down 2.3%. With 402,895 shares changing hands so far today, the company's volume is 0.9 times the current three-month average. 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. Investment valuation ratios can be very useful in estimating whether a stock price is too high, reasonable or a bargain investment opportunity. The debt ratio shows the proportion of assets that a company is financing through debt. IOC's debt ratio of 27.4% is on the low side. In other words, the company is less sensitive to changes in business or interest rates since less of its cash flow is dedicated to paying off loan expenses. 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.

Rosetta Resources (Nasdaq:ROSE) is up 2% to reach a current price of $44.85 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 426,493 shares. If a stock is trading on low volume, then there is not much interest in the stock. On the other hand, if a stock is trading on high volume, then there is a lot of interest in the stock. 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 capitalization ratio is calculated by dividing long-term debt by the sum of long-term debt and shareholders' equity. ROSE has a fairly low capitalization ratio of 28.4%. Low leverage is a significant balance sheet strength, a sign of a less risky investment. A low level of debt and a healthy proportion of equity in a company's capital structure is an indication of financial fitness.

The Bottom Line On any given day, a particular stock may see positive or negative change in its share price. Paying close attention to the previous ratios will help you identify key times to adjust your strategy. However, these fundamental metrics must be analyzed with historic data, industry information in addition to firm specific financial statements.

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