Monster Among Consumer/Non-Cyclical's Biggest Movers on September 19, 2012

By Investopedia Staff | September 19, 2012 AAA

The morning has been good for the market. The Nasdaq is up 0.1%; the S&P 500 has climbed 0.2%; and the Dow has moved up 0.3%.

Outperforming the market overall, the Consumer/Non-Cyclical sector (XLP) is up 0.3% and its biggest movers so far today are:

Company Market Cap Percentage Change
Vector (NYSE:VGR) $1.44 billion -5.8%
Fresh Del Monte Produce (NYSE:FDP) $1.39 billion +5%
TreeHouse Foods (NYSE:THS) $1.85 billion +2.8%
Monster (Nasdaq:MNST) $9.24 billion +2.4%
B&G Foods (NYSE:BGS) $1.5 billion +2.3%
Corn Products International (NYSE:INGR) $4.2 billion +1.9%
Vina Concha y Toro S.A (NYSE:VCO) $1.49 billion -1.9%

Forex Broker Summary: Forex Capital Markets (FXCM)

Currently trading at $16.65 per share, Vector (NYSE:VGR) has fallen 5.8%. So far today, 363,216 shares have changed hands. Volume is also used as a secondary indicator to help confirm what the price movement is suggesting. 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. Price/earnings ratios (P/E ratios) provide a measure of the relative value of a stock. Compared to the industry average of 15.62, VGR's P/E ratio of 65.5 is quite high. 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: How To Use The P/E Ratio And PEG To Tell The Future Of A Stock

Fresh Del Monte Produce (NYSE:FDP) is at $25.24 per share after an increase of 5%. So far today, the company's volume is 173,533 shares, 1.2 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. It is important for an investor to estimate the value of any potential or existing investment; valuation ratios make this easier. The debt-equity (D/E) ratio compares the total liabilities for a company to its total shareholder equity. FDP has a debt-equity ratio of 2%, which is on the low side. 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.

Increasing 2.8%, TreeHouse Foods (NYSE:THS) is trading at $52.49 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 296,308 shares. If a stock price moves on high volume, this means that the change is a significant one. Investors can use valuation ratios as tools to estimate what kind of deal a particular investment is. 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. THS' P/B ratio of 1.7 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: Using The Price-To-Book Ratio To Evaluate Companies

Monster (Nasdaq:MNST) has risen 2.4% to hit a current price of $53.65 per share. With 684,930 shares changing hands so far today, the company's volume is 0.2 times the current three-month average. High volume indicates a lot of investor interest while low volume indicates the opposite. 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. 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. MNST's P/S ratio of 6.5 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.

B&G Foods (NYSE:BGS) has increased to a share price of $31.63, a 2.3% rise. So far today, the company's volume is 87,068 shares. As a stock moves up or down, it is important to pay attention to the trading volume. This indicates the level of interest: the higher the volume, the more the interest. Valuation ratios allow the investor to make a quick determination as to a company's investment value. The debt ratio is calculated by dividing total liabilities by total assets. BGS has a high debt ratio of 78.9%. This might mean that the company now has low borrowing capacity, which reduces it's financial flexibility. As with all financial ratios, a company's debt ratio should be compared with the industry average or similar companies.

After an increase of 1.9%, Corn Products International (NYSE:INGR) has reached a current price of $56.15. The company's volume is currently 115,697 shares for the day, in line with the current daily average. A stock's volume conveys how excited investors are about it. 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 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 INGR is 1.11. 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.

Vina Concha y Toro S.A (NYSE:VCO) has decreased to $39.03 per share, a 1.9% fall. So far today, 1,950 shares of the company's stock have changed hands. Volume is used to evaluate how meaningful the price movement of a stock is. Investment valuation ratios provide investors with an estimation, albeit a simplistic one, of the value of a stock. 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. VCO has a low capitalization ratio of 28.2%. Investors generally consider a company with low debt and high equity levels is a good quality investment. 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.

The Bottom Line The nature of the market is such that stocks will have good days and bad days. 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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