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Tickers in this Article: VTR, HCN, HCP, MGRC, CBG, BFS, SSS
Currently, the Nasdaq is up 0.1%, the S&P 500 remains relatively unchanged and the Dow has risen 0.1%.

The Real Estate Operations sector (IYR) has moved up 0.4% so far today and here are its biggest movers:
Company Market Cap Percentage Change
Ventas (NYSE:VTR) .26 billion -2.2%
Health Care REIT (NYSE:HCN) .3 billion -2%
HCP (NYSE:HCP) .93 billion -1.7%
McGrath (Nasdaq:MGRC) 8.8 million +1%
CBRE Group (NYSE:CBG) .5 billion +1%
Saul Centers (NYSE:BFS) 6.5 million +0.9%
Sovran Self Storage (NYSE:SSS) .7 billion -0.8%
Broker Summary: OptionsXpress Online Trading Platform

Ventas (NYSE:VTR) has fallen 2.2% and is currently trading at $63.78 per share. The company's volume is currently 826,617 shares for the day, consistent with its current daily average. If a stock price makes a big move up or down, volume lets us know the significance of that move. 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. 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. VTR has a capitalization ratio of 43.3%. This ratio is considered to be one of the more meaningful of the "debt" ratios - it delivers the key insight into the use of leverage by a company.


Health Care REIT (NYSE:HCN) is trading at $57.05 per share, down 2%. The company's volume for the day so far is 1.3 million shares. Volume indicates the level of interest that investors have in a company at its current price. 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. The debt ratio gives users a quick measure of the amount of debt that the company has on its balance sheets compared to its assets. HCN's debt ratio is 50.7%. 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.


Currently trading at $45.62 per share, HCP (NYSE:HCP) has fallen 1.7%. This morning, 1.1 million shares have been traded, consistent with the volume from yesterday on pace to finish the day below yesterday's volume of 2.6 million shares. If a stock price moves on high volume, this means that the change is a significant one. Understanding investment valuation ratios allows an investor to assess the true value of an individual 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. HCP has a PEG ratio of 10.4. 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.


McGrath (Nasdaq:MGRC) has increased to a share price of $27.28, a 1% rise. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 5,628 shares. This is 0.1 times the current three-month average. 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. 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. MGRC's P/B ratio of 1.94 shows that its share price is higher than its book value. This may be a sign that the company is overvalued. 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: Investment Valuation Ratios: Price/Book Value Ratio



After rising 1%, CBRE Group (NYSE:CBG) is currently trading at a share price of $20. The company's volume is currently 1.7 million shares for the day, 0.4 times the average daily volume. If a stock price makes a big move up or down, volume lets us know the significance of that move. Investors can use valuation ratios as tools to estimate what kind of deal a particular investment is. The price/sales ratio measures a company's stock market value by its total revenues or alternatively, a company's price per share by its revenue per share. The P/S ratio for CBG is 0.86, which is relatively low. Low P/S ratios can indicate unrecognized value potential - so long as other criteria like high profit margins, low debt levels and growth prospects are in place. All things being equal, a low P/S ratio is good news for investors, while a very high one can be a warning sign.


Saul Centers (NYSE:BFS) has risen 0.9% to hit a current price of $45.70 per share. The company is currently trading a volume of 10,101 shares. The trading volume for a stock indicates the level of investor interest. Valuation ratios allow the investor to make a quick determination as to a company's investment value. One of the most important estimates of stock market valuation is the price/earnings ratio (P/E ratio). The P/E ratio for BFS is 63.8, above the industry average of 16.96. 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 Find P/E And PEG Ratios



Falling 0.8%, Sovran Self Storage (NYSE:SSS) is currently at a share price of $57.20. So far today, 37,330 shares have changed hands, lighter than yesterday's volume of 597,181 shares. When a stock price moves up or down, watching the volume is a good way of identifying how significant that shift is. In making a decision about a potential or existing investment, valuation ratios are useful as a basis for seeing whether the stock price is too high, reasonable, or a bargain. The debt-equity (D/E) ratio compares the total liabilities for a company to its total shareholder equity. The debt-equity ratio of 104.5% is high. A high D/E ratio generally means that a company has been aggressive in financing its growth with debt. This can result in volatile earnings as a result of the additional interest expense. The D/E ratio percentage provides a much more dramatic perspective on a company's leverage position than the debt ratio percentage.


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