source code to generate barcode in vb.net PART 3 Selecting Your Assets in Software

Generator EAN13 in Software PART 3 Selecting Your Assets

PART 3 Selecting Your Assets
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valuation standpoint, the P/E in this particular instance might not o er a true picture of the rm This is where the P/B ratio comes in handy If a company lowered its P/E by boosting its earnings in a onetime sale of assets, that sale will simultaneously lower the book value of the rm So the lower book value in this scenario will make the stock seem more expensive, not less, from a P/B standpoint Hopefully, if you screen for stocks based both on their P/E and P/B ratios, you ll pick up on these discrepancies, and it may cause you to do some extra due diligence Again, like P/E ratios, P/Bs have to be compared not against the broad stock market, but against similar ratios of industry peers You have to consider that some industries like the industrials or utilities have more assets on their books than other sectors nancial services, for instance Web sites like Zacks and Morningstar will help you determine how a stock s P/B stands up against those of its industry peers
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In the 1990s, many of us began to overlook dividends, because many companies stopped issuing them At the peak, in 1980, about 469 out of the 500 companies in the S&P 500 paid out dividends to their shareholders That gure fell to as low as 350 in 2002, though it s back on the way up In the 90s it became fashionable for companies to retain their earnings instead of paying shareholders, so the rm could reinvest the money back into the business Moreover, in the late 90s many stocks were enjoying capital appreciation gains of 20 percent or more a year In that environment, a dividend yield of, say, 2 percent hardly seemed a su cient carrot to drive investors to dividend-paying stocks But it s important to remember that going back to 1926, dividend payouts have accounted for more than 41 percent of the total returns that equity investors have enjoyed That s a lot of money to turn your back on Moreover, dividends and rising dividend payouts in particular are a great indicator of the nancial health of a company Even if the payout itself is paltry, the fact that a company is increasing its dividends is a sign that (1) it has more cash coming into the business than owing out, and (2) it is nancially strong enough to return the money to shareholders and does not need to retain the cash to meet basic obligations Conversely, if a company were to cut or eliminate its dividend, it would be an ominous sign indeed about the health of that rm It would tell investors that the rm has such cash ow problems that it needs its cash to meet basic short-term obligations
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What investors also overlook is the fact that a stock s dividend yield not to be confused with its actual payout can be an e ective valuation tool While a stock s dividend is measured in dollars and cents, a stock s dividend yield re ects that payout in the context of the current price of the stock Again, the formula looks like this:
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Annual dividends per share/Current price of stock Dividend yield
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So if a company paid out $1 a share in dividends and those shares went for $20 a piece, its dividend yield would be 5 percent:
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Annual dividends per share ($1)/Current price of stock ($20) 5%
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There are a couple of ways that the dividend yield will move higher The rst is simple: If the company pays out higher dividends and the price of the stock stays put, its dividend yield will rise Going back to our example, if this company doubled its dividends and started paying out $2 per share, but if the stock price remained at $20, its new dividend yield would be 10 percent:
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Annual dividends per share ($2)/Current price of stock ($20) 10%
The higher dividend yield, in this case, would be a sign of increasing value After all, in this situation the market is paying the same price for a stock even though it now issues $2 in dividends instead of just $1 That s considered value But what if instead of raising its dividends, the company simply sees its share price fall to, say, $5 Then its new dividend yield would be 20 percent:
Annual dividends per share ($1)/Current price of stock ($5) 20%
In this case, the company didn t pay out more, but investors paid less for the stock even though it is still o ering a buck a share in dividends The bottom line: When dividend yields rise, the shares of the company are considered to be trading at a discount to their former price This is why many value investors focus on dividend yields to ferret out lowpriced stocks In fact, there s a whole strategy of investing called the Dogs of the Dow, in which investors buy the 10 stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (which is made up of 30 total stocks) with the highest dividend yields While there are many variations of the Dogs of the Dow strategy, the simplest calls for holding the 10 highest yielding Dow stocks for one year (Figure 11-9, for example, lists the Dogs as of December 31, 2003) After a year passes, you would go back to the index and nd the new 10 highest yielding Dow components You would then readjust your portfolio accordingly and hang onto those stocks for another year
Fig 11-9
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