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Tickers in this Article: FSLR, DIOD, SPRD, PKE, FEIC, CREE, AIXG
After the morning's trading, the Nasdaq remains relatively unchanged, the S&P 500 has increased 0.4% and the Dow is up 0.5%.

The Semiconductors sector (XLK) is trading up 0.1% so far today and here are its biggest movers:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
First Solar (Nasdaq:FSLR)$1.91 billion+3.5%
Diodes (Nasdaq:DIOD)$779.2 million-2.8%
Spreadtrum Communications, Inc (Nasdaq:SPRD)$957.7 million-2.6%
Park (NYSE:PKE)$506.8 million-2.3%
FEI (Nasdaq:FEIC)$1.92 billion+2.1%
Cree (Nasdaq:CREE)$2.96 billion-1.9%
AIXTRON SE (Nasdaq:AIXG)$1.32 billion+1.9%
Broker Summary: OptionsXpress Online Trading Platform

First Solar (Nasdaq:FSLR) is up 3.5% to reach a current price of $22.76 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 3.1 million shares. A stock's volume conveys how excited investors are about it. Investment valuation ratios can be very useful in estimating whether a stock price is too high, reasonable or a bargain investment opportunity. In a nutshell, the price/sales ratio shows how much Wall Street values every dollar of the company's sales. FSLR has a P/S ratio of 0.42, on the low end. A company with a lower P/S ratio is generally considered more attractive, since investors are paying less for each dollar of sales. It is important to keep in mind when looking at the P/S ratio that just because a company is generating revenues, this does not mean that the company is profitable, and in the long run, profits drive stock prices.

Currently trading at $16.47 per share, Diodes (Nasdaq:DIOD) has fallen 2.8%. With 61,943 shares changing hands so far today, the company's volume is 0.2 times the current three-month average. 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. Investors can use valuation ratios as tools to estimate what kind of deal a particular investment is. The debt ratio shows the proportion of assets that a company is financing through debt. The debt ratio for DIOD is a low 24.4%. This indicates that the company engages in conservative financing with opportunities to borrow in the future at no significant risk. As with all financial ratios, a company's debt ratio should be compared with the industry average or similar companies.

Spreadtrum Communications, Inc (Nasdaq:SPRD) is down 2.6% to reach $19.85 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 122,681 shares. This is on pace to reach yesterday's trading volume of 292,873 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. Investors can make use of valuation ratios to estimate whether a stock is fairly valued. The debt-equity (D/E) ratio is a leverage ratio. SPRD has a low debt-equity ratio of 23%. Companies with low D/E ratios are more attractive to investors because they are better able to protect their business interests in times of decline. 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.

Slipping 2.3%, Park (NYSE:PKE) is currently trading at $23.80 per share. The company's volume is currently 11,464 shares for the day, 0.2 times its current daily average. If a stock price moves on high volume, this means that the change is a significant one. 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. One of the favorite tools of many value investors is analyzing price/book value ratios, as it provides a measure of the underlying value of a company's assets as compared to the valuation of its equity. PKE's stock is trading for more than its book value with a P/B ratio of 1.43. 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. 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: Using The Price-To-Book Ratio To Evaluate Companies

Increasing 2.1%, FEI (Nasdaq:FEIC) is trading at $51.35 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 122,985 shares. When a stock price moves up or down, watching the volume is a good way of identifying how significant that shift is. Valuation ratios allow the investor to make a quick determination as to a company's investment value. Perhaps one of the most widely-used stock analysis tools is the price-to-earnings ratio, or P/E. FEIC has a P/E ratio of 18.6, high compared to the industry average of 15.45. Generally speaking, the higher the P/E ratio, the higher the market expectations for a company's future performance. 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: How To Use The P/E Ratio And PEG To Tell The Future Of A Stock

Cree (Nasdaq:CREE) is trading at $25.03 per share, down 1.9%. So far today, the company's volume is 388,607 shares, 0.3 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. Looking at a company's valuation ratios is a good way of getting a basic idea as to its value as an investment. The assumption with high price/earnings stocks (generally of the growth variety) is that investors are willing to buy at a high price because they believe that the stock has significant growth potential, and the price/earnings to growth (PEG) ratio helps investors determine the degree of reliability of that growth assumption. PEG ratio for CREE is 3.27. Because of the adjustment for earnings growth rate, the PEG ratio is somewhat more useful than many formulas for comparing companies in different industries.

AIXTRON SE (Nasdaq:AIXG) has moved up 1.9% and is currently trading at $13.35 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 40,932 shares. This is about the same trading activity as there was yesterday. Volume is an important indicator because it indicates how significant a price shift 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. Dividend yield measures the income that a stock will generate for an investor. AIXG has a dividend yield of 1.6%, which is fairly low. If you are an income investor, this stock may not be attractive to you. To calculate the dividend yield, divide the level of dividends by the stock price; the higher the yield, the more attractive the security. SEE: Due Diligence On Dividends

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. However, these fundamental metrics must be analyzed with historic data, industry information in addition to firm specific financial statements.

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