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Tickers in this Article: FSLR, DIOD, PANL, NXPI, PSMI, POWI, SWKS
The morning has been good for the market. The Nasdaq has risen 0.2%; the S&P 500 has increased 0.5%; and the Dow has moved up 0.5%.

Underperforming the market overall, the Semiconductors sector (XLK) is up 0.1%, and these are its current biggest movers:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
First Solar (Nasdaq:FSLR).96 billion-10.6%
Diodes (Nasdaq:DIOD)4 million+3.5%
Universal (Nasdaq:PANL).58 billion+3.2%
NXP (Nasdaq:NXPI).18 billion+3.1%
Peregrine Semiconductor Corp (Nasdaq:PSMI)7.5 million+2.9%
Power Integrations (Nasdaq:POWI)6.5 million+2.6%
Skyworks Solutions (Nasdaq:SWKS).49 billion+2.1%
Broker Summary: Charles Schwab Online Brokerage

First Solar (Nasdaq:FSLR) is at a share price of $20.17 after a sharp decline of 10.6%. The company's volume is currently 6.9 million shares. Yesterday's volume was only 6.4 million shares. A stock's volume conveys how excited investors are about it. Valuation ratios allow the investor to make a quick determination as to a company's investment value. 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. FSLR has a low debt ratio of 38.7%. A low debt ratio means the company has more available cash flow. 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.

After an increase of 3.5%, Diodes (Nasdaq:DIOD) has reached a current price of $17.19. The company's volume is currently 172,380 shares for the day, 0.7 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. 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. The debt-equity (D/E) ratio compares the total liabilities for a company to its total shareholder equity. DIOD has a low debt-equity ratio of 7%. 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.

Universal (Nasdaq:PANL) is up 3.2% to reach a current price of $35.05 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 353,417 shares. In technical analysis, trading volume is used to determine the strength of a market indicator. 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. Compared to the industry average of 7.59, PANL's P/E ratio of 75.4 is quite high. Usually, if a stock has a high P/E ratio, it indicates that the market expects the company to grow earnings quickly in the future. From the investor's perspective, a stock with a lower ratio is relatively cheaper than a stock with a higher ratio. SEE: Profit With The Power Of Price-To-Earnings

NXP (Nasdaq:NXPI) has moved up 3.1% and is currently trading at $25.31 per share. At 496,189 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.3 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. 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 provides a way of evaluating whether a stock is relatively cheap or expensive. NXPI has a P/B ratio of 6.26 which 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. 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

After rising 2.9%, Peregrine Semiconductor Corp (Nasdaq:PSMI) is currently trading at a share price of $17.95. The company's volume for the day so far is 23,160 shares. At this rate, trading activity will likely be down from yesterday when 152,863 shares changed hands. 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.

Increasing 2.6%, Power Integrations (Nasdaq:POWI) is trading at $31.18 per share. With 43,009 shares changing hands so far today, the company's volume is 0.2 times the current three-month average. 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. For investors primarily interested in the income a stock can generate, the dividend yield is an important determinant of how attractive a stock is. POWI's dividend yield of 0.7% is fairly low. This could indicate that that the stock is overpriced or that future dividends might be higher. A higher dividend yield may indicate a risk of a fall in the price of the security, or a cut in the level of dividend payments, either of which would have the effect of dropping future returns. SEE: Dividend Yield For The Downturn

Skyworks Solutions (Nasdaq:SWKS) has risen 2.1% to hit a current price of $24.04 per share. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 2.5 million shares. Volume indicates the level of interest that investors have in a company at its current price. 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/sales ratio is used for spotting recovery situations or for double-checking that a company's growth has not become overvalued. SWKS has a high P/S ratio of 3.34. 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.

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

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