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Lesson 14. How to Check Your Investments > Reading the Stock Tables - Pg. 88

How to Check Your Investments 88 Stocks trading at more than 20 times earnings are considered to have "high" P.E. ratios, and stocks trading at less than 10 times earnings are considered to have "low" P.E. ratios. More important, the same warning given earlier about rules being quickly dismissed in the realities of stock trading also applies to P.E. ratios. Remember that the P.E. ratio of a stock is useful only when it is used within the total context of the stock, including such factors as industry, past performance, and current market conditions. Vol 100s The figure in the column to the right of the P.E. Ratio column is the Vol 100s listing, and it contains the number of shares of the stock that traded on that particular day. This number is rounded off to the nearest thousand, so two additional zeros need to be added to the listed figure. Plain English The Vol 100s listing contains the number of total shares of each stock that changed hands during the trading day. When the figure in this column is under 10,000, it must be multiplied by 100 to obtain the correct number of traded shares. Many people explain this figure as representing the number of round lots of shares that have been sold. However, not all stocks sell in lots of 100, so this explanation is not consistent with the listed figures. I use the explanation that there simply isn't enough room to list the entire number and that the most insignificant digits of the figure are truncated--the figure is rounded off to fit. Either way, what is certain is that the volume of shares being traded is a good indicator of whether a stock is being actively traded or virtually ignored. The other measurements have concerned them- selves predominantly with the condition of the stock and its issuing company. The volume of stock traded, however, measures the supply and demand of the stock in the market. This information can