The Nasdaq is trading up 0.2%, the S&P 500 has moved little and the Dow has slipped 0.2% after the morning's trading. The technology sector is a category of stocks relating to the research, development and/or distribution of technologically based goods and services. This sector contains businesses revolving around the manufacturing of electronics, creation of software, computers or products and services relating to information technology. The technology sector offers a wide arrange of products and services for both customers and other businesses. Consumer goods like personal computers, stereos and televisions are continually improved and upgraded, offering the latest technology to all users. Businesses receive information and services from software and database systems, which allow the companies to make strategic business decisions.

The Technology sector (XLK) has increased 0.3% so far today and here are its biggest movers:

CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Marvell Technology (Nasdaq:MRVL)$6.92 billion-15.7%
Acme Packet (Nasdaq:APKT)$1.2 billion-4.6%
OpenTable (Nasdaq:OPEN)$981.2 million+2.8%
Stratasys (Nasdaq:SSYS)$1.4 billion+2.4%
WESCO International (NYSE:WCC)$2.89 billion+2.2%
CommVault Systems (Nasdaq:CVLT)$2.3 billion+2%
CACI International (NYSE:CACI)$1.42 billion-1.9%
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After a precipitous drop of 15.7%, Marvell Technology (Nasdaq:MRVL) is now trading at a share price of $10.35. The company is currently trading a volume of 27.4 million shares. 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. 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. As with most ratios, comparisons of company price/earnings to growth ratios (PEG ratios) are most appropriate for similar companies. MRVL has a PEG ratio of 1.02, 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.

Acme Packet (Nasdaq:APKT) has decreased to $16.65 per share, a 4.6% fall. The company's volume is currently 1.3 million shares for the day, with trading activity in keeping with yesterday's lighter than yesterday's volume of 2.8 million 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 measures the leverage of a company, and a company's leverage is a good way to assess risk. APKT's debt ratio of 11.1% is on the low side. A low debt ratio means the company has more available cash flow. As with all financial ratios, a company's debt ratio should be compared with the industry average or similar companies.

OpenTable (Nasdaq:OPEN) has moved up 2.8% and is currently trading at $44.63 per share. This morning, the company's volume is 120,477 shares. This is 0.1 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. 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. While measuring a price/earnings ratio (P/E ratio) is a popular valuation technique, the measure cannot be calculated for companies without earnings, so some investors analyze the price/sales ratio. The P/S ratio for OPEN is 6.76, which is relatively high. In young companies, a high P/S ratio is a sign of sales growth that is expected to turn into earnings and cash flow. A limitation of the P/S ratio is that the price component measures only stock market captialization, while sales are a function of the entire capital structure, potentially leading to wide differences between levered and unlevered companies.

Stratasys (Nasdaq:SSYS) is up 2.4% to reach a current price of $67.07 per share. The company's volume is currently 76,198 shares for the day, 0.2 times the current three-month average. Volume indicates the level of interest that investors have in a company at its current price. Investors can use valuation ratios as tools to estimate what kind of deal a particular investment is. 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. SSYS' stock is trading for more than its book value with a P/B ratio of 7.38. This may be a sign that the company is overvalued. All else being equal, a stock with a low P/B value ratio is more attractive than a stock with a high ratio. SEE: Investment Valuation Ratios: Price/Book Value Ratio

After an increase of 2.2%, WESCO International (NYSE:WCC) has reached a current price of $61.50. So far today, 242,940 shares have changed hands. Volume is used to evaluate how meaningful the price movement of a stock is. Valuation ratios include 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. 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 43% is relatively low. A low D/E ratio may be a sign that the company is not taking advantage of leverage to increase its profits. The D/E ratio is not a pure measurement of a company's debt because it includes operational liabilities in total liabilities.

CommVault Systems (Nasdaq:CVLT) is currently trading at $52.30 per share, a 2% increase. So far today, the company's volume is 104,055 shares, which is likely to result in less activity than yesterday's volume of 309,368 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 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. Price/earnings ratios (P/E ratios) provide a measure of the relative value of a stock. CVLT's P/E ratio of 71.3 falls below the industry average of 74.73. A low P/E ratio may indicate that the market expects relatively slower earnings growth. 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: Investment Valuation Ratios: Price/Earnings Ratio

Falling 1.9%, CACI International (NYSE:CACI) is currently at a share price of $52.23. So far this morning, 198,008 shares have changed hands. This is 0.4 times its average daily volume. High volume indicates a lot of investor interest while low volume indicates the opposite. Investors can make use of valuation ratios to estimate whether a stock is fairly valued. The price/earnings to growth (PEG) ratio is calculated by dividing the price/earnings ratio by growth in earnings-per-share; the lower the PEG ratio, the more reasonably valued the security. PEG ratio for CACI is 0.81. Because of the adjustment for earnings growth rate, the PEG ratio is somewhat more useful than many formulas for comparing companies in different industries.

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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Tickers in this Article: MRVL, APKT, OPEN, SSYS, WCC, CVLT, CACI

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