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Investment Ratio Every time we read and analysis stock, we may not be able to understand the detail. Below is the definition and the application of the different Ratio.

1. Earnings Per Share Before you can understand many of these ratios it is important to learn what earnings per share (EPS) is. EPS is basically the profit that a company has made over the last year divided by how many shares are on the market. It gets a little more complicated because you don’t include preferred shares, also the number of shares could change throughout the year. But don’t worry this number will be given to you on any financial website.

2. Price To Earnings Ratio

A valuation ratio of a company’s current share price compared to its per-share earnings.Calculated as:

Market Value per Share Earnings per Share (EPS)

For example, if a company is currently trading at $43 a share and earnings over the last 12 months were $1.95 per share, the P/E ratio for the stock would be 22.05 ($43/$1.95). EPS is usually from the last four quarters (trailing P/E), but sometimes it can be taken from the estimates of earnings expected in the next four quarters (projected or forward P/E). A third variation uses the sum of the last two actual quarters and the estimates of the next two quarters. Also sometimes known as “price multiple” or “earnings multiple”

Application: In general, a high P/E suggests that investors are expecting higher earnings growth in the future compared to companies with a lower P/E. However, the P/E ratio doesn’t tell us the whole story by itself. It’s usually more useful to compare the P/E ratios of one company to other companies in the same industry, to the market in general or against the company’s own historical P/E. It would not be useful for investors using the P/E ratio as a basis for their investment to compare the P/E of a technology company (high P/E) to a utility company (low P/E) as each industry has much different growth prospects. The P/E is sometimes referred to as the “multiple”, because it shows how much investors are willing to pay per dollar of earnings. If a company were currently trading at a multiple (P/E) of 20, the interpretation is that an investor is willing to pay $20 for $1 of current earnings. It is important that investors note an important problem that arises with the P/E measure, and to avoid basing a decision on this measure alone. The denominator (earnings) is based on an accounting measure of earnings that is susceptible to forms of manipulation, making the quality of the P/E only as good as the quality of the underlying earnings number.

3. Price to Sales Ratio A stock’s price/sales ratio (P/S ratio) is another stock valuation indicator similar to the P/E ratio. The P/S ratio measures the price of a company’s stock against its annual sales, instead of earnings. Like the P/E ratio, the P/S reflects how many times investors are paying for every dollar of a company’s sales. In this example the price of a share is divided by the sales ($3,286) which is adjusted for average share outstanding throughout the year (3,286/247.1). This results in paying 5.1 dollars for every dollar of sales.

4. Debt To Equity Ratio A measure of a company’s financial leverage calculated by dividing its total liabilities by stockholders’ equity. It indicates what proportion of equity and debt the company is using to finance its assets. Note: Sometimes only interest-bearing, long-term debt is used instead of total liabilities in the calculation. Also known as the Personal Debt/Equity Ratio, this ratio can be applied to personal financial statements as well as corporate ones. Application: A high debt/equity ratio generally means that a company has been aggressive in financing its growth with debt. This can result in volatile earnings as a result of the additional interest expense. If a lot of debt is used to finance increased operations (high debt to equity), the company could potentially generate more earnings than it would have without this outside financing. If this were to increase earnings by a greater amount than the debt cost (interest), then the shareholders benefit as more earnings are being spread among the same amount of shareholders. However, the cost of this debt financing may outweigh the return that the company generates on the debt through investment and business activities and become too much for the company to handle. This can lead to bankruptcy, which would leave shareholders with nothing. The debt/equity ratio also depends on the industry in which the company operates. For example, capital-intensive industries such as auto manufacturing tend to have a debt/equity ratio above 2, while personal computer companies have a debt/equity of under 0.5.

5. Dividend Yield A stock’s dividend yield is expressed as an annual percentage and is calculated as the company’s annual cash dividend per share divided by the current price of the stock. The dividend yield is found in the stock quotes of dividend-paying companies. Investors should note that stock quotes record the per share dollar amount of a company’s latest quarterly declared dividend. In this example the $1 dividend and $67.44 share price creates a 1.48% yield.

6. Price To Book Ratio

A ratio used to compare a stock’s market value to its book value. It is calculated by dividing the current closing price of the stock by the latest quarter’s book value per share.Also known as the “price-equity ratio”. Calculated as: Application: A lower P/B ratio could mean that the stock is undervalued. However, it could also mean that something is fundamentally wrong with the company. As with most ratios, be aware that this varies by industry. This ratio also gives some idea of whether you’re paying too much for what would be left if the company went bankrupt immediately.

7. Current Ratio The current ratio is a popular financial ratio used to test a company’s liquidity (also referred to as its current or working capital position) by deriving the proportion of current assets available to cover current liabilities. The concept behind this ratio is to ascertain whether a company’s short-term assets (cash, cash equivalents, marketable securities, receivables and inventory) are readily available to pay off its short-term liabilities (notes payable, current portion of term debt, payables, accrued expenses and taxes). In theory, the higher the current ratio, the better. In this example current assets are valued well over 2 times the current liabilities.