Las Vegas Sands and More Big Movers in Services on August 20, 2012

By Investopedia Staff | August 20, 2012 AAA

On a bad day for the market, the Nasdaq has decreased 0.2%, the S&P 500 is down 0.3% and the Dow has declined 0.2%.

The Services sector (IYC) is down 0.3%, underperforming the market overall. The current biggest movers in the sector are:

Company Market Cap Percentage Change
Hibbett Sports (Nasdaq:HIBB) $1.55 billion -5.2%
Susser (Nasdaq:SUSS) $795.1 million -4.7%
Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) $34.09 billion +4%
Francesca\'s (Nasdaq:FRAN) $1.5 billion +2.9%
Sears (Nasdaq:SHLD) $6.33 billion -2.9%
Lululemon Athletica (Nasdaq:LULU) $6.74 billion -2.7%
Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group (NYSE:DTG) $2.2 billion -2.5%

Software Summary: Finviz.com Stock Screener

Falling 5.2%, Hibbett Sports (Nasdaq:HIBB) is currently at a share price of $56.14. The company's volume is currently 295,613 shares for the day, 0.7 times the current daily average. 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. As with most ratios, comparisons of company price/earnings to growth ratios (PEG ratios) are most appropriate for similar companies. 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.

Susser (Nasdaq:SUSS) is trading at $36.11 per share, down 4.7%. The company's volume for the day so far is 116,477 shares. Volume is used to evaluate how meaningful the price movement of a stock 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. 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. SUSS' D/E ratio of 123% is on the high side. Generally, a high D/E ratio means that the company may have difficulty generating enough cash to pay off its debts. 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.

Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) is up 4% to reach a current price of $43.08 per share. The company's volume is currently 7.1 million shares for the day, 0.8 times the average volume over the last three months. 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 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. Price/earnings ratios (P/E ratios) provide a measure of the relative value of a stock. LVS has a P/E ratio of 23.1, high compared to the industry average of 11.28. A company with a high P/E ratio will eventually have to live up to the high rating by substantially increasing its earnings, or the price will need to drop. A high or low P/E ratio is not good or bad in and of itself, but a company trading with a high P/E ratio must continue to post strong financial performance or its stock price is likely to fall. SEE: Profit With The Power Of Price-To-Earnings

Francesca's (Nasdaq:FRAN) has risen 2.9% and is currently trading at $35.32 per share. The company is trading at a volume of 945,144 shares. This is about the same trading activity as there was yesterday. 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. Understanding investment valuation ratios allows an investor to assess the true value of an individual stock. The capitalization ratio is calculated by dividing long-term debt by the sum of long-term debt and shareholders' equity. FRAN's capitalization ratio is 30.2%. Prudent use of leverage (debt) increases the financial resources available to a company for growth and expansion.

Currently trading at $57.76 per share, Sears (Nasdaq:SHLD) has fallen 2.9%. At 290,316 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.3 times its current daily average. If a stock price makes a big move up or down, volume lets us know the significance of that move. When estimating the value of a particular investment, valuation ratios provide a good basis for assessing the value of an individual stock. The price/book value ratio is especially important for value investors as it can provide an indication of the true value of a company's assets at a time when its business model may be failing. SHLD has a P/B ratio of 1.37 which shows that its share price is higher than its book value. This high share price relative to asset value is likely to indicate that the company has been earning a very high return on its assets. 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: How Buybacks Warps The Price-To-Book Ratio

Slipping 2.7%, Lululemon Athletica (Nasdaq:LULU) is currently trading at $61.50 per share. The company is currently trading a volume of 715,167 shares. In technical analysis, trading volume is used to determine the strength of a market indicator. 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 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. LULU's P/S ratio of 9.7 is on the high side. In young companies, a high P/S ratio is a sign of sales growth that is expected to turn into earnings and cash flow. 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.

At $76.87, Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group (NYSE:DTG) has slipped 2.5%. So far today, the company's volume is 160,483 shares, 0.2 times its average over the past three months. Volume indicates the level of interest that investors have in a company at its current price. 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. The D/E ratio for DTG is 229%. Companies with high D/E ratios may have difficulty attracting additional investment capital. 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 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. 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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