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Tickers in this Article: O, JLL, VTR, LHO, CLNY, BXP, HPT
Currently, the Nasdaq has fallen 0.2%, the S&P 500 is trading up 0.3% and the Dow has moved little.

These are the biggest movers in the Real Estate Operations sector (IYR) (+0.3%):
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Realty (NYSE:O)$5.63 billion+2.3%
Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE:JLL)$3.25 billion+2%
Ventas (NYSE:VTR)$19.65 billion-1.7%
LaSalle Hotel (NYSE:LHO)$2.43 billion+1.6%
Colony Financial (NYSE:CLNY)$640.8 million-1.6%
Boston Properties (NYSE:BXP)$17.03 billion+1.3%
Hospitality (NYSE:HPT)$3.02 billion-1.1%
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After rising 2.3%, Realty (NYSE:O) is currently trading at a share price of $43.16. So far today, the company's volume is 652,325 shares, 0.3 times the average daily volume. 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. 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. 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 O is 44.6%. 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.

Rising 2%, Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE:JLL) is currently trading at $75.30 per share. The company is trading at a volume of 50,839 shares. This is on pace to fall short of yesterday's volume of 339,466 shares. If a stock price moves on high volume, this means that the change is a significant one. 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/earnings ratio is calculated by taking a stock price and dividing it by the earnings-per-share (EPS). JLL's P/E ratio of 19.4 is above the industry average of 10.43. This could mean that the market is expecting big things over the next few months or years. A high P/E ratio indicates a stock that is expensive, while a low P/E ratio indicates a stock that is cheap. SEE: Understanding The P/E Ratio

Ventas (NYSE:VTR) is trading at $65.40 per share, down 1.7%. At 468,055 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.3 times its average over the past three months. 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. When estimating the value of a particular investment, valuation ratios provide a good basis for assessing the value of an individual stock. 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. VTR has a P/B ratio of 2.05 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. To put things in perspective, should be made among companies in the same industry rather than across industries. SEE: Using The Price-To-Book Ratio To Evaluate Companies

LaSalle Hotel (NYSE:LHO) has increased to a share price of $28.68, a 1.6% rise. The company is currently trading a volume of 234,544 shares. 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 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. The dividend yield is measured by taking the annual dividends per share and dividing that number by the stock price. LHO has a dividend yield of 2.8%. Just as with the yield on a bond or certificate of deposit, the higher the dividend yield, the higher the return to the investor. SEE: Investment Valuation Ratios: Dividend Yield

After a decline of 1.6%, Colony Financial (NYSE:CLNY) has hit a share price of $19.05. At 2.3 million shares, the company's volume so far today is 12.1 times the current daily average. In technical analysis, trading volume is used to determine the strength of a market indicator. Valuation ratios allow the investor to make a quick determination as to a company's investment value. 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 CLNY is a high 3.89. 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.

After an increase of 1.3%, Boston Properties (NYSE:BXP) has reached a current price of $114.46. So far today, the company's volume is 358,095 shares. This is on pace to reach yesterday's trading volume of 747,727 shares. 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 easy-to-calculate debt ratio is helpful to investors looking for a quick take on the leverage for a company. BXP's debt ratio of 66.4% is fairly 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.

Hospitality (NYSE:HPT) has fallen 1.1% and is currently trading at $24.17 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 251,819 shares, consistent with its current three-month average. Volume is used to evaluate how meaningful the price movement of a stock 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. To a large degree, the debt-equity (D/E) ratio provides another vantage point on a company's leverage position, in this case, comparing total liabilities to shareholders' equity, as opposed to total assets in the debt ratio. HPT's D/E ratio is 93%. 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.

The Bottom Line The nature of the market is such that stocks will have good days and bad days. 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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