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Tickers in this Article: CVI, SWN, CXO, TSO, EQT, MMR, MUR
The Nasdaq has risen 0.6%, the S&P 500 is up 0.8% and the Dow has moved up 1.1%, marking a bad morning for the market.

The Oil and Gas Operations sector (DIG) is up 2.2%, outperforming the market overall. The biggest movers in the sector so far are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
CVR Energy (NYSE:CVI)$3.19 billion+9.4%
Southwestern Energy (NYSE:SWN)$12.14 billion+3.3%
Concho Resources (NYSE:CXO)$9.91 billion+3%
Tesoro (NYSE:TSO)$5.86 billion+2.8%
EQT (NYSE:EQT)$8.83 billion+2.6%
Mcmoran (NYSE:MMR)$1.9 billion-2.3%
Murphy (NYSE:MUR)$10.43 billion+2.1%
Broker Summary: Charles Schwab Online Brokerage

After rising 9.4%, CVR Energy (NYSE:CVI) is currently trading at a share price of $40.22. The company is currently trading a volume of 363,183 shares. High volume indicates a lot of investor interest while low volume indicates the opposite. Investment valuation ratios provide investors with an estimation, albeit a simplistic one, of the value of a stock. The easy-to-calculate debt ratio is helpful to investors looking for a quick take on the leverage for a company. CVI's debt ratio of 61.1% is fairly high. This might mean that the company now has low borrowing capacity, which reduces it's financial flexibility. 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 3.3%, Southwestern Energy (NYSE:SWN) has reached a current price of $35.93. With 2.2 million shares changing hands so far today, the company's volume is in keeping with the average volume over the past three months. A stock's volume conveys how excited investors are about it. Valuation ratios like 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 are useful in determining how attractive a potential or existing investment is. The debt-equity (D/E) ratio is a measurement of how much suppliers, lenders, creditors and obligors have committed to the company versus what the shareholders have committed. SWN has a low debt-equity ratio of 47%. A low D/E ratio may be a sign that the company is not taking advantage of leverage to increase its profits. 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.

Concho Resources (NYSE:CXO) is at $97.62 per share after an increase of 3%. So far today, 342,717 shares of the company's stock have changed hands. This is on pace to fall short of yesterday's volume of 968,812 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 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. 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. The capitalization ratio for CXO is 42.9%. A low level of debt and a healthy proportion of equity in a company's capital structure is an indication of financial fitness.

Tesoro (NYSE:TSO) has risen 2.8% to hit a current price of $43.07 per share. The company's volume is currently 1.2 million shares for the day, in keeping with its current daily 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. 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. When used consistently and uniformly, the price/earnings to growth (PEG) ratio is an essential tool that adds dimension to the price/earnings ratio, allows comparisons across diverse industries and is always on the lookout for value. TSO has a PEG ratio of 0.94, 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.

EQT (NYSE:EQT) is up 2.6% to reach a current price of $60.51 per share. So far today, 905,800 shares have changed hands. 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 price/book value ratio is calculated by dividing the current stock price by the company's book value per share. EQT has a P/B ratio of 2.48 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. One problem with the P/B value ratio is that it can be difficult to calculate the true book value of a company, so investors should be aware that many measures of book value may provide only a rough estimate, and should be taken with a grain of salt. SEE: How Buybacks Warps The Price-To-Book Ratio

Mcmoran (NYSE:MMR) is currently trading at a share price of $11.48, a 2.3% decline. The company's volume for the day so far is 913,407 shares, in keeping with its current three-month average. In technical analysis, trading volume is used to determine the strength of a market indicator. 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. MMR's P/S ratio of 4.45 is on the high side. This could be a good sign if the share price increases. 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.

Murphy (NYSE:MUR) is currently trading at $54.82 per share, a 2.1% increase. So far today, the company's volume is 481,073 shares. This is a sign that there will be less trading activity than there was yesterday. 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. 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. The debt ratio is calculated by dividing total liabilities by total assets. The debt ratio for MUR is a low 38%. 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. As with all financial ratios, a company's debt ratio should be compared with the industry average or similar companies.

The Bottom Line On any given day, a particular stock may see positive or negative change in its share price. Paying close attention to the previous ratios will help you identify key times to adjust your strategy. However, these fundamental metrics must be analyzed with historic data, industry information in addition to firm specific financial statements.

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