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Tickers in this Article: ANN, FRAN, ARO, HIBB, GPS, FIVE, LQDT
The Nasdaq has climbed 0.2%, the S&P 500 has remained steady and the Dow has fallen 0.2% so far today.

The biggest movers in the Services sector (IYC) (+0.3%) are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Ann (NYSE:ANN)$1.37 billion+19.2%
Francesca\'s (Nasdaq:FRAN)$1.35 billion+12%
Aeropostale (NYSE:ARO)$1.11 billion-9.8%
Hibbett Sports (Nasdaq:HIBB)$1.62 billion-5.1%
Gap (NYSE:GPS)$16.8 billion+4.7%
Five Below (Nasdaq:FIVE)$1.74 billion-4.4%
Liquidity Services (Nasdaq:LQDT)$1.42 billion+4%
Broker Summary: OptionsXpress Online Trading Platform

Ann (NYSE:ANN) is trading at $33.53 per share, a significant rise of 19.2%. This morning, 5.3 million shares have been traded, more than yesterday's 955,772 shares. Volume indicates the level of interest that investors have in a company at its current price. 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. The P/B ratio for ANN is 4.41, indicating that the stock is trading for more than its book value. 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: How Buybacks Warps The Price-To-Book Ratio

Francesca's (Nasdaq:FRAN) is currently at $34.73 per share after a dramatic increase of 12%. So far today, the company's volume is 1.1 million shares. This is three times the average daily volume. Volume is also used as a secondary indicator to help confirm what the price movement is suggesting. 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 debt-equity (D/E) ratio compares the total liabilities for a company to its total shareholder equity. FRAN has a low debt-equity ratio of 43%. 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.

After a decline of 9.8%, Aeropostale (NYSE:ARO) has hit a share price of $12.32. The company's volume for the day so far is six million shares, 1.6 times its average over the past three months. Volume is an important indicator because it indicates how significant a price shift is. Investment valuation ratios can be very useful in estimating whether a stock price is too high, reasonable or a bargain investment opportunity. There are generally two price/earnings ratios calculated: the first, called the trailing Price/Earnings ratio, is calculated using the previous years actual earnings; the second, called forward Price/Earnings ratio, is calculated using the next year's estimated earnings. ARO's P/E ratio of 16.7 is under the industry average of 18.8. A low P/E might arise due to substantial inherent risk of the firm and its operations, poor return on equity, or improper valuation of the market. 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: Can Investors Trust the P/E Ratio?

Falling 5.1%, Hibbett Sports (Nasdaq:HIBB) is currently at a share price of $58.67. The company's volume for the day so far is 1.3 million shares. Volume is used to evaluate how meaningful the price movement of a stock is. Valuation ratios allow the investor to make a quick determination as to a company's investment value. 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. HIBB's PEG ratio of 1.69 is in line with the industry average. Because of the adjustment for earnings growth rate, the PEG ratio is somewhat more useful than many formulas for comparing companies in different industries.

Gap (NYSE:GPS) has risen 4.7% to hit a current price of $35.96 per share. So far today, 8.5 million shares have changed hands, above yesterday's volume of 8.2 million shares. The trading volume for a stock indicates the level of investor interest. Investment valuation ratios provide investors with an estimation, albeit a simplistic one, of the value of a stock. The debt ratio is calculated by dividing total liabilities by total assets. GPS' debt ratio of 60.2% is fairly high. This means that the company's cash flow is significantly impacted by paying off principal and interest and that any negative change in performance or rise in interest rates could result in default. 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.

Five Below (Nasdaq:FIVE) has fallen 4.4% and is currently trading at $30.88 per share. So far this morning, 116,958 shares have changed hands. This is 0.4 times its average daily volume. If a stock price makes a big move up or down, volume lets us know the significance of that 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 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 FIVE is 142.5%, which is fairly high. The company may have trouble meeting operating and debt liabilities on time and surviving adverse economic conditions. The capitalization ratio is one of the more meaningful debt ratios because it focuses on the relationship of debt liabilities as a component of a company's total capital base, which is the capital raised by shareholders and lenders.

Liquidity Services (Nasdaq:LQDT) has increased to a share price of $47.58, a 4% rise. So far today, the company's volume is 243,588 shares, 0.4 times its current three-month average. When a stock price moves up or down, watching the volume is a good way of identifying how significant that shift is. 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. One of the most important estimates of stock market valuation is the price/earnings ratio (P/E ratio). Compared to the industry average of 20.79, LQDT's P/E ratio of 31.6 is quite high. 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: How To Find P/E And PEG Ratios

The Bottom Line No matter the economic climate, Wall Street will always have stocks that make major moves each week. Daily stock performance should be weighed against historical performance and put in context of the market overall. 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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