Real Estate Operations Stocks Making Big Moves on July 16, 2012

By Investopedia Staff | July 16, 2012 AAA

After the morning's trading, the Nasdaq has remained steady, the S&P 500 has decreased 0.2% and the Dow has declined 0.3%.

While the market overall has shown little change, the Real Estate Operations sector (IYR) is up 0.3% and its current biggest movers are:

Company Market Cap Percentage Change
CBRE Group Inc (NYSE:CBG) $5.18 billion -2.1%
Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated (NYSE:JLL) $3.08 billion -1.7%
Entertainment Properties Trust (NYSE:EPR) $2.01 billion +1.6%
Kennedy-Wilson Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:KW) $751.4 million -1.4%
National Health Investors Inc (NYSE:NHI) $1.47 billion +1.4%
The St. Joe Company (NYSE:JOE) $1.57 billion -1.4%
American Capital Agency Corp. (Nasdaq:AGNC) $10.4 billion +1%

Broker Summary: Fidelity Online Brokerage

Slipping 2.1%, CBRE Group (NYSE:CBG) is currently trading at $15.45 per share. With 619,720 shares changing hands so far today, the company's volume is 0.3 times the average volume over the last three months. High volume indicates a lot of investor interest while low volume indicates the opposite. Margin analysis tells us how effectively management can wring profits from sales and how much room a company has to withstand a downturn, fend off competition and make mistakes. CBG's gross profit margin is 42%. Operating margin is determined by taking operating income (income minus variable expenses) and dividing it by sales. CBG has an operating profit margin of 5.6%. A high net profit margin indicates a highly profitable company, and a low profit margin indicates the opposite. Net profit margin for the company is 4.5%.

When estimating the value of a particular investment, valuation ratios provide a good basis for assessing the value of an individual stock. The debt ratio shows the proportion of assets that a company is financing through debt. CBG has a debt ratio of 81.5%, which is on the high side. This means that most of the company's assets are financed through debt. As with all financial ratios, a company's debt ratio should be compared with the industry average or similar companies.

Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE:JLL) has fallen 1.7% and is currently trading at $69.32 per share. The company's volume is currently 62,537 shares. This is below yesterday's volume of 524,488 shares. A stock's volume conveys how excited investors are about it. 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. The debt-equity ratio of 38% is relatively low. Companies with low D/E ratios are more attractive to investors because they are better able to protect their business interests in times of decline. The D/E ratio is not a pure measurement of a company's debt because it includes operational liabilities in total liabilities.

Entertainment (NYSE:EPR) has risen 1.6% and is currently trading at $43.59 per share. At 83,030 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.3 times the current daily average. When a stock price moves up or down, watching the volume is a good way of identifying how significant that shift is. 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. 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. EPR has a capitalization ratio of 45.8%. 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.

Falling 1.4%, Kennedy-Wilson Holdings (NYSE:KW) is currently at a share price of $14.30. So far today, 15,445 shares have changed hands. Volume is used to evaluate how meaningful the price movement of a stock is. Profit-margin ratios measure how much money a company squeezes from its total revenue or total sales. Investors can look at a company's gross profit margin, operating profit margin and net margin to understand a company's profitability. KW has an operating profit margin of -30.5%. This is because the company reported a net operating loss in the most recent quarter.

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 dividend yield is measured by taking the annual dividends per share and dividing that number by the stock price. KW has a low dividend yield of 1.4%. This may indicate that the company's stock is overpriced. For income-oriented investors such as retirees, a stock with a high dividend yield may be more attractive than a stock with a low dividend yield. SEE: Investment Valuation Ratios: Dividend Yield

National Health Investors (NYSE:NHI) has risen 1.4% to hit a current price of $53.80 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 32,202 share, 0.3 times the current three-month average. Volume is an important indicator because it indicates how significant a price shift is. It is important for an investor to estimate the value of any potential or existing investment; valuation ratios make this easier. The assumption with high price/earnings stocks (generally of the growth variety) is that investors are willing to buy at a high price because they believe that the stock has significant growth potential, and the price/earnings to growth (PEG) ratio helps investors determine the degree of reliability of that growth assumption. NHI has a PEG ratio of 2.45, 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.

At $16.79, St. Joe (NYSE:JOE) has slipped 1.4%. The company's volume for the day so far is 127,299 shares. Trading activity is down from yesterday when 934,763 shares changed hands. 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. Calculating the profit margin is a great way to gain insight into aspects of how well a company generates and retains money. Instead of measuring how much managers earn from assets, equity or invested capital, profit-margin ratios measure how far a company stretches its total revenue or total sales. JOE has a low gross profit margin of 23.9%. This may mean that the company is struggling to control production costs, or that a low amount of earnings is being generated from revenues. The operating margin ratio can also be useful for tracking an individual company's performance across time, where an increasing ratio is good and a declining ratio may provide cause for concern that a company's business model is weakening. Operating margin for JOE is -5.2%. This shows that the company reported a net operating loss in the most recent quarter.

Valuation ratios allow the investor to make a quick determination as to a company's investment value. The price/book value ratio is calculated by dividing the current stock price by the company's book value per share. The P/B ratio for JOE is 2.85, indicating that the stock is trading for more 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. All else being equal, a stock with a low P/B value ratio is more attractive than a stock with a high ratio. SEE: Using The Price-To-Book Ratio To Evaluate Companies

American Capital (Nasdaq:AGNC) has increased to a share price of $35.03, a 1% rise. At 1.9 million shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.3 times its current daily average. When a stock price moves up or down, watching the volume is a good way of identifying how significant that shift is. Investors can make use of valuation ratios to estimate whether a stock is fairly valued. A simple P/E ratio can reveal the stock's real market value and show how the valuation compares to its industry group or a benchmark like the S&P 500 Index. AGNC's P/E ratio of 5.6 falls below the industry average of 8.34. A low P/E ratio may indicate that the market expects relatively slower earnings growth. From the investor's perspective, a stock with a lower ratio is relatively cheaper than a stock with a higher ratio. SEE: How To Find P/E And PEG Ratios

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. Keep in mind that all these ratios should be compared against historical numbers and industry information in order to get a more complete picture.

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