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Tickers in this Article: DK, GPOR, MPC, LPI, ROSE, LUFK, PXD
The Nasdaq has increased 0.1%, the S&P 500 has moved little and the Dow has risen 0.1% so far today. The energy sector is the category of stocks that relate to producing or supplying energy. This sector includes companies involved in the exploration and development of oil or gas reserves, oil and gas drilling, or integrated power firms. Performance in the sector is largely driven by the supply and demand for worldwide energy. Energy producers will do very well during times of high oil and gas prices, but will earn less when the value of energy drops. Furthermore, this sector is sensitive to political events, which historically have driven changes in the price of oil.

The Energy sector (XLE) is trading up 0.4% overall, and these are the biggest movers in the sector so far:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Delek US Holdings (NYSE:DK)$1.54 billion-5.4%
Gulfport (Nasdaq:GPOR)$1.81 billion-4.4%
Marathon (NYSE:MPC)$18.15 billion-3%
Laredo Petroleum Holdings (NYSE:LPI)$2.84 billion+2.8%
Rosetta Resources (Nasdaq:ROSE)$2.61 billion-2.4%
Lufkin Industries (Nasdaq:LUFK)$2.06 billion-2.2%
Pioneer Natural Res (NYSE:PXD)$13.78 billion-2.1%
Broker Summary: Fidelity Online Brokerage

Delek US Holdings (NYSE:DK) is down 5.4% to reach $24.91 per share. This morning, the company's volume is 413,229 shares. This is in line with its current daily average. In technical analysis, trading volume is used to determine the strength of a market indicator. Investment valuation ratios provide investors with an estimation, albeit a simplistic one, of the value of a stock. When used consistently and uniformly, the price/earnings to growth (PEG) ratio is an essential tool that adds dimension to the price/earnings ratio, allows comparisons across diverse industries and is always on the lookout for value. DK has a PEG ratio of -0.27, which is consistent with the industry average. 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.

After a decline of 4.4%, Gulfport (Nasdaq:GPOR) has hit a share price of $31.13. At 568,527 shares, the company's volume so far today is lighter than yesterday's volume of 2.3 million 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 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. 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. GPOR's P/B ratio of 2.5 shows that its share price is higher than its book value. This may be a sign that the company is overvalued. 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: Investment Valuation Ratios: Price/Book Value Ratio

Slipping 3%, Marathon (NYSE:MPC) is currently trading at $52.03 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 2.3 million shares. When a stock price moves up or down, watching the volume is a good way of identifying how significant that shift is. When estimating the value of a particular investment, valuation ratios provide a good basis for assessing the value of an individual stock. The dividend yield is measured by taking the annual dividends per share and dividing that number by the stock price. The dividend yield for MPC is 1.9%, which is on the low end. A company with a low dividend yield may be a safer investment in the long run. High dividend yields are generally more important to value investors, investors in larger companies, and income oriented investors than they are to growth investors, investors in small cap stocks, and investors in new or emerging companies. SEE: Guide To Stock-Picking Strategies: Income Investing

Laredo Petroleum Holdings (NYSE:LPI) is currently trading at $22.75 per share, a 2.8% increase. So far today, the company's volume is 72,543 shares, 0.3 times its average over the past three months. Volume is an important indicator because it indicates how significant a price shift is. Valuation ratios allow the investor to make a quick determination as to a company's investment value. The debt ratio is calculated by dividing total liabilities by total assets. LPI's debt ratio of 61.1% is fairly high. This might mean that the company now has low borrowing capacity, which reduces it's financial flexibility. As with all financial ratios, a company's debt ratio should be compared with the industry average or similar companies.

Currently trading at $48.09 per share, Rosetta Resources (Nasdaq:ROSE) has fallen 2.4%. The company's volume for the morning is 131,108 shares. This is 0.2 times the average daily volume. 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 make use of valuation ratios to estimate whether a stock is fairly valued. To a large degree, the debt-equity (D/E) ratio provides another vantage point on a company's leverage position, in this case, comparing total liabilities to shareholders' equity, as opposed to total assets in the debt ratio. The debt-equity ratio of 42% is relatively low. This shows that the company's assets are financed primarily through equity. The D/E ratio is not a pure measurement of a company's debt because it includes operational liabilities in total liabilities.

Falling 2.2%, Lufkin Industries (Nasdaq:LUFK) is currently at a share price of $60.10. So far today, 126,221 shares have changed hands, while it was 392,771 shares yesterday. Volume is also used as a secondary indicator to help confirm what the price movement is suggesting. 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. 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. LUFK's P/E ratio of 30.0 is above the industry average of 15.04. Generally speaking, the higher the P/E ratio, the higher the market expectations for a company's future performance. From the investor's perspective, a stock with a lower ratio is relatively cheaper than a stock with a higher ratio. SEE: Profit With The Power Of Price-To-Earnings

Pioneer Natural Res (NYSE:PXD) has fallen 2.1% and is currently trading at $109.70 per share. The company is currently trading a volume of 556,717 shares. A stock's volume conveys how excited investors are about it. Looking at a company's valuation ratios is a good way of getting a basic idea as to its value as an investment. The capitalization ratio measures the debt component of the capital structure, or capitalization of a company (i.e., the sum of long-term debt liabilities and shareholder equity) to support operations and growth. PXD has a capitalization ratio of 36.3%. Prudent use of leverage (debt) increases the financial resources available to a company for growth and expansion.

The Bottom Line On any given day, a particular stock may see positive or negative change in its share price. 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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