Stocks are a popular investment option for beginners and long-term investors alike. Before investing in them, though, you should understand whether the ones you are considering are overvalued, undervalued, or fairly valued because this information could expose profitable opportunities and impact your trading and investing strategies. Analysts and investors use company fundamentals when doing these types of analysis, and there are several of them to consider. Here are the most important ones you should know about.
Earnings and Profitability
A company’s earnings tell you how well it is doing. If it is doing well, as evidenced in its earnings reports, its share price will rise. If it is not, the share price will fall.
A key metric to understand is the earnings per share (EPS), i.e., the amount it earns per outstanding share.
You get it by dividing the company’s net income by the number of its outstanding shares. This metric is significant because a higher EPS shows the company is profitable and how much money it generates per share.
Revenue and Sales Growth
Profitability is intimately tied to revenue and sales. A company with poor sales and revenue will have a low share price because it will also have low profitability. Revenue and sales growth measure the rate at which either is growing or decreasing.
You should invest in companies with strong revenue growth because this indicates that they are growing and expanding. A stock market analyst can help understand how to go through the relevant reports, numbers, and information to find out this information. If you find this metric trending in the wrong direction, either avoid buying their shares or sell the one you hold to avoid future losses.
Dividends and Dividend Yield
Dividend stocks are arguably the best types of shares to invest in because they pay you a regulated amount at predetermined intervals as long as you hold them. You can choose to use the dividend amount income or use it to buy more shares to strengthen your position.
The dividend yield is the ratio of the current dividend to the current share price. It is usually expressed as a percentage, with investors aiming for a dividend yield of at least 3%.
This metric is important because it shows how much money the business has available to distribute as the dividend amount. While they affect how stocks are evaluated, they can also be confusing.
For example, the dividend yield might look higher if the share price has fallen, but the dividend has remained the same. This falling share price might indicate that the company is going through some hardships, but investors might not know about it until they do some research and take a closer look.
Companies also report their debts in their financial reports. High debt levels mean less profitability and a high risk the company might fail. Investors, therefore, avoid such businesses, instead opting for those with lower debt levels.
Investors use several tools and company fundamentals to evaluate whether a company would be a good candidate to invest in. Many of them have to do with the company’s health and profitability, both of which inform them of the level of risk they would be taking on. Understanding these fundamentals will also help you become a better and profitable stock investor.