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Tickers in this Article: DWRE, SYNA, SOHU, OYOG, N, DDD, SSYS
The Nasdaq has climbed 0.1%, the S&P 500 is up 0.3% and the Dow has risen 0.4%, marking a bad morning for the market. 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) is up 0.4%, outperforming the market overall. The biggest movers in the sector so far are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Demandware (NYSE:DWRE)2.7 million+8.2%
Synaptics (Nasdaq:SYNA)7.3 million-6.1%
Sohu.com (Nasdaq:SOHU).56 billion+4.3%
OYO (Nasdaq:OYOG)2.2 million+4.1%
NetSuite (NYSE:N).08 billion+3.4%
3D (NYSE:DDD).17 billion-2.8%
Stratasys (Nasdaq:SSYS).33 billion-2.7%
Broker Summary: Charles Schwab Online Brokerage

After rising 8.2%, Demandware (NYSE:DWRE) is currently trading at a share price of $31.35. With 479,136 shares changing hands so far today, the company's volume is 1.7 times the average volume over the last three months. High volume indicates a lot of investor interest while low volume indicates the opposite. 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. The price/book value ratio, often expressed simply as "price-to-book", provides investors a way to compare the market value, or what they are paying for each share, to a conservative measure of the value of the firm. DWRE's stock is trading for more than its book value with a P/B ratio of 10.18. 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. 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

Synaptics (Nasdaq:SYNA) is down 6.1% to reach $26.67 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 556,142 shares. Volume is an important indicator because it indicates how significant a price shift is. Investors can use valuation ratios as tools to estimate what kind of deal a particular investment is. One of the most important estimates of stock market valuation is the price/earnings ratio (P/E ratio). Relative to the industry P/E ratio of 28.0, SYNA's 18.1 is low. A low P/E ratio may indicate that the market expects relatively slower earnings growth. 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

Sohu.com (Nasdaq:SOHU) has risen 4.3% and is currently trading at $42.75 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 302,491 shares, in keeping with its current daily average. In technical analysis, trading volume is used to determine the strength of a market indicator. 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. SOHU has a debt ratio of 40.3%, which is fairly low. This indicates that the company engages in conservative financing with opportunities to borrow in the future at no significant risk. As with all financial ratios, a company's debt ratio should be compared with the industry average or similar companies.

OYO (Nasdaq:OYOG) has moved up 4.1% and is currently trading at $114.69 per share. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 25,624 shares. The trading volume for a stock indicates the level of investor interest. Investors can make use of valuation ratios to estimate whether a stock is fairly valued. The price/sales ratio is used for spotting recovery situations or for double-checking that a company's growth has not become overvalued. The P/S ratio for OYOG is 3.06, which is relatively high. This could be a good sign if the share price increases. It is important to compare P/S ratios for companies in the same industry, as ratios can vary quite widely for companies in different industries.

After rising 3.4%, NetSuite (NYSE:N) is currently trading at a share price of $59.44. The company's volume is currently 514,037 shares for the day, 1.5 times the current three-month average. 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. 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. N has a P/B ratio of 29.72 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. P/B has its shortcomings but is still widely used as a valuation metric, more relevant for use by investors looking at capital-intensive or finance-related businesses, such as banks; book value does not carry much meaning for service-based firms with few tangible assets. SEE: Investment Valuation Ratios: Price/Book Value Ratio

Falling 2.8%, 3D (NYSE:DDD) is currently at a share price of $38.08. The company's volume for the day so far is 968,422 shares. 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. When estimating the value of a particular investment, valuation ratios provide a good basis for assessing the value of an individual stock. Price/earnings ratios (P/E ratios) provide a measure of the relative value of a stock. DDD's P/E ratio of 67.5 is above the industry average of 22.19. 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. High P/E stocks could be "growth" stocks, while low PE stocks may be "value" stocks. SEE: How To Use The P/E Ratio And PEG To Tell The Future Of A Stock

Stratasys (Nasdaq:SSYS) has fallen 2.7% and is currently trading at $60.64 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 379,918 shares, 0.8 times the current daily average. 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. The easy-to-calculate debt ratio is helpful to investors looking for a quick take on the leverage for a company. The debt ratio for SSYS is a low 19.1%. In other words, the company is less sensitive to changes in business or interest rates since less of its cash flow is dedicated to paying off loan expenses. 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.

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. However, these fundamental metrics must be analyzed with historic data, industry information in addition to firm specific financial statements.

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