How to Evaluate a Stock


The stock market is an exchange that trades in stocks on a daily basis. Many large U.S. companies list their shares on a foreign exchange. However, many of these companies also list their shares on a US exchange. In these cases, the stock trade typically takes less than a second to complete. To buy or sell a stock, an investor must use a broker. This person or entity is licensed to buy and sell stocks on the stock exchange. Online brokers usually process the entire transaction electronically.

While ordinary shareholders have no influence over the running of the company, they do own a certain portion of the company’s profits. These profits are the foundation of the stock value. The more shares you own, the greater your share of profits will be. Most stocks do not pay dividends, but instead reinvest profits into the company’s growth. The retained earnings, however, still reflect the value of the stock. Buying and selling stocks is a great way to build a portfolio.

The price of a stock depends on several factors. Demand and supply in the market determine its price. Fundamental factors, like revenue, earnings per share and industry performance, influence the price. Technical factors, such as inflation, industry performance and liquidity, can affect the price of a stock. And sentimental factors, like investor speculation or news, affect stock prices. These are the most basic components of how a stock can change in value. This guide will explain how these factors can affect the price of a stock.

Another important component of evaluating a stock is its dividends. A dividend payout of $0.50 per share equals $50 a year for 100 shares. So, a $30 stock at $3,000 yields a 1.7% dividend payout. By comparison, a stock worth $3000 yields a dividend of $0.50 per share. This is a very high yield! If you want to invest in a stock that has low dividend payouts and high dividends, consider a value stock.

While the term stock is used loosely in the stock market, it is more accurately described as ownership in a specific company. In addition to a monetary value, a stock entitles you to a certain percentage of the company. This share is known as the equity. If you buy an IBM stock, you are becoming a shareholder and own a percentage of the company. By investing in this company, you are hoping the company will succeed. In return, you will share in the profits of the company’s success.

If you’re looking to buy stocks, you’ll need to find a broker. Discount brokers offer a lower level of service, while full service brokers charge more per trade. Discount brokers offer lower fees but less personalized service. Your bank and credit union may also partner with discount brokers to provide their services. A full-service broker is usually the best option for many investors. You will need to track your earnings and losses when you sell shares. If you have a large portfolio, you can diversify your holdings by buying mutual funds, ETFs, and stocks.