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Tickers in this Article: AAV, UPL, SWN, HFC, CWEI, IOC, EQT
On a bad day for the market, the Nasdaq has declined 0.2%, the S&P 500 has fallen 0.4% and the Dow has slipped 0.6%.

The Oil and Gas Operations sector (DIG) is down 1.2%, underperforming the market overall. The current biggest movers in the sector are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Advantage Oil (NYSE:AAV)$552.3 million+11.3%
Ultra (NYSE:UPL)$3.49 billion-4%
Southwestern Energy (NYSE:SWN)$11.48 billion-3%
HollyFrontier (NYSE:HFC)$8.1 billion-2.4%
Clayton Williams Energy (Nasdaq:CWEI)$588.5 million-2%
InterOil Corporation (NYSE:IOC)$3.78 billion+1.9%
EQT (NYSE:EQT)$8.42 billion-1.7%
Broker Summary: TD Ameritrade Thinkorswim

Advantage Oil (NYSE:AAV) rose a significant 11.3% to reach $3.65 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 337,624 shares. In technical analysis, trading volume is used to determine the strength of a market indicator. A wide array of ratios can be used by investors to estimate the attractiveness of a potential or existing investment and get an idea of its valuation. In a nutshell, the price/sales ratio shows how much Wall Street values every dollar of the company's sales. The P/S ratio for AAV is a high 1.31. 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.

After a decline of 4%, Ultra (NYSE:UPL) has hit a share price of $21.90. The company's volume is currently 1.2 million shares for the day,. In technical analysis, trading volume is used to determine the strength of a market indicator. Investment valuation ratios can be very useful in estimating whether a stock price is too high, reasonable or a bargain investment opportunity. 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. The capitalization ratio for UPL is 81.2%, which is fairly high. A company considered too highly leveraged (too much debt) may find its freedom of action restricted by its creditors and/or have its profitability hurt by high interest costs. The capitalization ratio is one of the more meaningful debt ratios because it focuses on the relationship of debt liabilities as a component of a company's total capital base, which is the capital raised by shareholders and lenders.

Southwestern Energy (NYSE:SWN) has decreased to $31.87 per share, a 3% fall. So far today, 1.5 million shares have changed hands. This is in keeping with its current three-month average. If a stock price makes a big move up or down, volume lets us know the significance of that move. Understanding investment valuation ratios allows an investor to assess the true value of an individual stock. 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. SWN's P/B ratio of 3.16 shows that its share price is higher than its book value. 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

Falling 2.4%, HollyFrontier (NYSE:HFC) is currently at a share price of $38.81. The company's volume is currently 428,234 shares for the day, 0.2 times the average daily volume. Volume is an important indicator because it indicates how significant a price shift is. Investors can make use of valuation ratios to estimate whether a stock is fairly valued. The debt-equity (D/E) ratio compares the total liabilities for a company to its total shareholder equity. The debt-equity ratio of 24% is relatively low. 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.

Clayton Williams Energy (Nasdaq:CWEI) is currently trading at a share price of $47.40, a 2% decline. So far today, 7,535 shares have changed hands. Volume is an important indicator because it indicates how significant a price shift 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. The debt ratio measures the leverage of a company, and a company's leverage is a good way to assess risk. The debt ratio for CWEI is 74.2%, which is relatively high. 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.

InterOil Corporation (NYSE:IOC) has risen 1.9% to hit a current price of $79.69 per share. This morning, 454,319 shares have been traded,. The trading volume for a stock indicates the level of investor interest. 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. 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. The P/S ratio for IOC is 2.79, which is relatively high. This could be a good sign if the share price increases. 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.

Slipping 1.7%, EQT (NYSE:EQT) is currently trading at $55.30 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 160,054 shares. This is 0.1 times the current three-month average. When a stock price moves up or down, watching the volume is a good way of identifying how significant that shift is. Investment valuation ratios provide investors with an estimation, albeit a simplistic one, of the value of a stock. The capitalization ratio measures the debt component of the capital structure, or capitalization of a company (i.e., the sum of long-term debt liabilities and shareholder equity) to support operations and growth. EQT's capitalization ratio is 40.7%. Prudent use of leverage (debt) increases the financial resources available to a company for growth and expansion.

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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