Don`t look at only the price of the stock. That is not enough. A stock that is priced at $30 can be cheaper than a stock priced at $10. Some people tend to think that a stock price reflects the value relative to other stocks, but that is terribly wrong!
The price of the shares is completely meaningless to investors that is doing fundamental analysis. The market cap is found by multiplying the per-share price times the total number of outstanding shares. This number gives you the total value of the company or stated another way, what it would cost to buy the whole company on the open market.
The per-share price is changing all the time, and that is why we aren`t so concerned about it. All the companies have a different number of outstanding shares, and that doesn`t tell us what the value of the company is. What we are looking for are the market capitalization (market cap).
You can find the market cap by multiplying the per-share price times the total number of outstanding shares which means what investors need to pay for the whole company on the open market.
Let`s say the stock price is $5. Outstanding shares: 10 million. The market cap is $5 x 10 000 000 = 50 000 000. But, what if Company B have a stock price of $2 and outstanding shares is 100 000 000? Market cap is $200 000 000. So, what company do you want`t own? Stock price $5 or $2?
Do not only look at the per-share prices because it doesn`t tell much. Look for a stock compared to another stock that is similar in the same business. Market cap gives you a better picture of the companys value, and the market put the stocks into three categories:
Small Cap under $1 billion
Mid Cap $1 – $10 billion
Large Cap $10 billion+
The most important thing is to understand the comparing companies of similar size in the same business when you are doing your evaluation. Market Cap is better than evaluating per-share price of a stock. How do you find earnings per-share? I will write more about that next week.
News today: Empire State Manufacturing Index & Import Prices at 8:30am, Capacity Utilization Rate & Industrial Production at 9:15am.
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