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Tickers in this Article: HMY, RGLD, AUQ, AUY, GOLD, GFI, PAAS
After the morning's trading, the Nasdaq is unchanged, the S&P 500 has slipped 0.3% and the Dow has moved little.

The Gold and Silver sector (SLV) has fallen 0.5% despite little change in the market overall. The biggest movers in the sector so far are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Harmony Gold Mining Co (NYSE:HMY)$4.1 billion-3.5%
Royal Gold (Nasdaq:RGLD)$5.59 billion+2.6%
AuRico Gold (NYSE:AUQ)$1.96 billion+2.5%
Yamana Gold Inc (NYSE:AUY)$14.31 billion+1.8%
Randgold Resources Ltd (Nasdaq:GOLD)$11.1 billion+1.7%
Gold Fields Limited (NYSE:GFI)$9.76 billion-1.7%
Pan American Silver Corp (Nasdaq:PAAS)$3.27 billion+1.5%
Beginner's Guide To

Harmony Gold Mining Co (NYSE:HMY) is currently trading at a share price of $9.13, a 3.5% decline. At 2.6 million shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.9 times the average daily volume. Volume is also used as a secondary indicator to help confirm what the price movement is suggesting. Valuation ratios allow the investor to make a quick determination as to a company's investment value. The price/earnings ratio is calculated by taking a stock price and dividing it by the earnings-per-share (EPS). HMY has a P/E ratio of 12.8. 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

After rising 2.6%, Royal Gold (Nasdaq:RGLD) is currently trading at a share price of $96.71. The company is trading at a volume of 563,137 shares. Volume is used to evaluate how meaningful the price movement of a stock is. It is important for an investor to estimate the value of any potential or existing investment; valuation ratios make this easier. The debt-equity (D/E) ratio is a leverage ratio. RGLD has a debt-equity ratio of 16%, which is on the low side. 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.

AuRico Gold (NYSE:AUQ) has risen 2.5% and is currently trading at $7.40 per share. The company's volume is currently 1.1 million shares for the day, 0.3 times the average volume over the last three months. 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. 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 AUQ is 0.9 because the stock is trading for less than its book value. Industries that require more infrastructure capital (for each dollar of profit) will usually trade at P/B ratios much lower than those that don't. All else being equal, a stock with a low P/B value ratio is more attractive than a stock with a high ratio. SEE: How Buybacks Warps The Price-To-Book Ratio

Yamana Gold Inc (NYSE:AUY) is at $19.49 per share after an increase of 1.8%. The company's volume for the day so far is 4.2 million 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. 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. Dividend yield is a way to measure how much cash flow you are getting for each dollar invested in an equity position - in other words, how much "bang for your buck" you are getting from dividends. AUY has a dividend yield of 1.4%, which is fairly low. If you are an income investor, this stock may not be attractive to you. High dividend yields are generally more important to value investors, investors in larger companies, and income oriented investors than they are to growth investors, investors in small cap stocks, and investors in new or emerging companies. SEE: Investment Valuation Ratios: Dividend Yield

Randgold Resources Ltd (Nasdaq:GOLD) is currently trading at $122.07 per share, a 1.7% increase. The company's volume is currently 655,831 shares for the day, 0.9 times the average daily volume. 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. A price/sales ratio is derived by dividing stock market price by company sales. The P/S ratio for GOLD is a high 6.67. This could be a good sign if the share price increases. It is important to compare P/S ratios for companies in the same industry, as ratios can vary quite widely for companies in different industries.

Currently trading at $13.09 per share, Gold Fields Limited (NYSE:GFI) has fallen 1.7%. The company's volume for the day so far is 3.6 million shares. This is about the same trading activity as there was yesterday. Volume is an important indicator because it indicates how significant a price shift is. Looking at a company's valuation ratios is a good way of getting a basic idea as to its value as an investment. The debt ratio measures the leverage of a company, and a company's leverage is a good way to assess risk. GFI has a low debt ratio of 42.6%. This indicates that the company engages in conservative financing with opportunities to borrow in the future at no significant risk. 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.

Rising 1.5%, Pan American Silver Corp (Nasdaq:PAAS) is currently trading at $22.15 per share. At 1.4 million shares, the company's volume so far today is consistent with its current three-month average. High volume indicates a lot of investor interest while low volume indicates the opposite. 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. The price/earnings to growth (PEG) ratio can reveal value what price/earnings (P/E) ratios alone may not so that if a company has a high P/E ratio (an indication that its stock is overpriced) but its earnings are growing very quickly, the PEG ratio may reveal that the company is actually fairly valued, or perhaps even a bargain. PEG ratio for PAAS is 1.88. Because of the adjustment for earnings growth rate, the PEG ratio is somewhat more useful than many formulas for comparing companies in different industries.

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