How to Read A Stock Table/Quote
Post on 17 August 2011 by Sleuk Finance
If you invest in stocks, but don’t know how to read the stock quotes you could miss out on some important information. Most newspapers include stock tables to provide information about recent stock trading for companies. People who invest in stocks use these numbers to decide which stocks to buy and sell. If you are new to investing or want to learn more about stocks, you should learn how to read a stock quote.
Stock quote may have the following information:
Information Stock Tables Provide:
Price: The most important information about a stock you are interested in is the price of a share. The quote usually shows several prices. The last or closing price (Column 11: Close) is the price of the last transaction that occurred before the stock exchange closed. Some quotes might also give the high and low prices Column 9 & 10: Hi and Lo) throughout the day. In other words, these are the maximum and the minimum prices that people have paid for the stock.
Keep in mind, you are not guaranteed to get this price if you buy the stock the next day because the price is constantly changing.
Volume: This is the number of shares sold during the day of trading- the daily volume (Column 8: Vol), listed in hundreds. To get the actual number traded, add “00″ to the end of the number listed.
Dividend: The dividend is the amount that corporations pay out of their profits to their stockholders. Column 5: Div means Dividend Per Share – This indicates the annual dividend payment per share. If this space is blank, the company does not currently pay out dividends. Some stock tables show the dividend paid over the previous year for each share of stock.
Sometimes the dividend yield, Column 6:Yield is provided, which is the percentage return on the dividend. Calculated as annual dividends per share divided by price per share.
Price-earnings Ratio, Column 7: Often called the P/E, the price-earnings ratio is the current price of a corporation’s stock divided by the amount the corporation earned per share over the past year. The typical price-earnings ratio is about 15. A higher P/E shows that a corporation’s stock is expensive in relation to its recent earnings, which might mean that people expect a future rise in earnings or that the stock is overvalued. A lower P/E indicates that a corporation’s stock is cheap in relation to its recent earnings. This might mean that people expect earning to fall or that the stock is undervalued.
Company Name & Type of Stock, Column 3: – This column lists the name of the company. If there are no special symbols or letters following the name, it is common stock. Different symbols imply different classes of shares. For example, “pf” means the shares are preferred stock.
Ticker Symbol, Column 4: - This is the unique alphabetic name which identifies the stock. If you are looking for stock quotes online, you always search for a company by the ticker symbol.
Net Change, Column 12: - This is the dollar value change in the stock price from the previous day’s closing price. When you hear about a stock being “up for the day,” it means the net change was positive.
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