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Tickers in this Article: CVI, RIG, COG, SXL, CXO, EOG, OILT
The market is having a good day so far: the Nasdaq has risen 0.7%; the S&P 500 is up 1%; and the Dow has moved up 1.1%. 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 up 1.3%, outperforming the market overall. The biggest movers in the sector so far are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
CVR Energy (NYSE:CVI)$3.19 billion+9.2%
Transocean (NYSE:RIG)$16.13 billion+4.5%
Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE:COG)$9.43 billion+3%
Sunoco Logistics Partners (NYSE:SXL)$4.83 billion+2.8%
Concho Resources (NYSE:CXO)$9.91 billion+2.6%
EOG (NYSE:EOG)$30.26 billion+2.1%
Oiltanking (NYSE:OILT)$743 million-2.1%
Forex Broker Summary: UFXMarkets

After rising 9.2%, CVR Energy (NYSE:CVI) is currently trading at a share price of $40.13. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 334,746 shares. In technical analysis, trading volume is used to determine the strength of a market indicator. 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 P/E ratio has been used for ages by analysts and still remains one of the most relevant pieces of stock valuation. CVI has a P/E ratio of 10.6, in line with the industry average. High P/E stocks could be "growth" stocks, while low PE stocks may be "value" stocks. SEE: Profit With The Power Of Price-To-Earnings

Transocean (NYSE:RIG) is at $46.89 per share after an increase of 4.5%. The company's volume is currently 2.9 million shares for the day, in keeping with its 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. Investment valuation ratios can be very useful in estimating whether a stock price is too high, reasonable or a bargain investment opportunity. 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. The capitalization ratio for RIG is 39.1%. A low level of debt and a healthy proportion of equity in a company's capital structure is an indication of financial fitness.

Increasing 3%, Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE:COG) is trading at $46.26 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 1.9 million shares. Yesterday, volume was only 1.7 million 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. 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. For investors primarily interested in the income a stock can generate, the dividend yield is an important determinant of how attractive a stock is. COG has a dividend yield of 0.2%, which is fairly low. This may indicate that the company's stock is overpriced. 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

Increasing 2.8%, Sunoco Logistics Partners (NYSE:SXL) is trading at $47.97 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 81,576 shares, 0.3 times the average daily volume. 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. 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 price/sales ratio is derived by dividing stock market price by company sales. SXL has a P/S ratio of 0.29, on the low end. The lower the P/S ratio, the more reasonably price the stock, all else being equal. All things being equal, a low P/S ratio is good news for investors, while a very high one can be a warning sign.

Concho Resources (NYSE:CXO) has risen 2.6% to hit a current price of $97.18 per share. The company is currently trading a volume of 227,421 shares. A stock's volume conveys how excited investors are about it. Understanding investment valuation ratios allows an investor to assess the true value of an individual stock. The debt ratio is calculated by dividing total liabilities by total assets. CXO has a debt ratio of 56.7%. 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.

Rising 2.1%, EOG (NYSE:EOG) is currently trading at $114.45 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 363,500 shares, 0.2 times its average over the past three months. When a stock price moves up or down, watching the volume is a good way of identifying how significant that shift is. Looking at a company's valuation ratios is a good way of getting a basic idea as to its value as an investment. The debt-equity (D/E) ratio is a measurement of how much suppliers, lenders, creditors and obligors have committed to the company versus what the shareholders have committed. The debt-equity ratio of 38% is relatively low. This shows that the company's assets are financed primarily through equity. 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.

Oiltanking (NYSE:OILT) is trading at $37.40 per share, down 2.1%. So far today, the company's volume is 2,669 shares. This is on pace to fall short of yesterday's volume of 16,749 shares. Volume is used to evaluate how meaningful the price movement of a stock is. 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. OILT's P/B ratio of 2.55 shows that its share price is higher than its book value. 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. To put things in perspective, should be made among companies in the same industry rather than across industries. SEE: How Buybacks Warps The Price-To-Book Ratio

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. Keep in mind that all these ratios should be compared against historical numbers and industry information in order to get a more complete picture.

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