Steamboat Springs One of the most popular publications at the Bud Werner Memorial Library in Steamboat Springs isn't in the stacks. A periodical with the innocuous-sounding name of "Value Line" is in such demand and so subject to people tearing pages out of it that to get your hands on it, you have to leave your driver's license at the front desk.
People who are serious about owning shares of publicly traded companies will do their homework and study three to four research reports before making a decision, stockbroker Andy Moore said. Value Line is one of the best sources of hard information about companies trading on the stock market. Moore, a stockbroker with Dain Rauscher in Fort Collins, teaches a class on the stock market on Thursday nights this fall at Colorado Mountain College.
"The secret to your companies going up and down (in the market) is right here," Moore said, pointing to earnings statistics contained in Value Line.
Value Line devotes a page of dense type graphs, numerical columns and descriptions about market trends to each company it analyzes. At first glance, it's a little bewildering, but once they know where to look, people can extract valuable information very quickly. The companies profiled by Value Line might be well known to the average consumer, companies such as General Electric and Johnson and Johnson. Or they might be companies that enjoy little name recognition among the general public but are star companies on the New York Stock Exchange.
Consider EMC Corp., a company that designs, manufactures and markets high-performance storage products for mainframe computers. It's a product that is in high demand as companies come to view their storage system as being almost more important than their computer servers.
The average American has never heard of EMC, but Value Line calls it the top performer of the 1990s on the New York exchange. EMC went from a price per share of almost nothing to $75 in about four years, but what makes that so spectacular is that it split its share five times along the way, making its primary investors very happy. Not only did its stock go up in value, but two shares turned into 48 shares.
The history of EMC's stock splits and the range of its stock prices are easy to find at the top of its Value Line page.
In addition to the history of the stock price, curious investors can find out how much of the company's capitalization is in its share of stock and how much is in debt.
EMC's source is heavily weighted to stocks, and that's a good thing, Moore said. It's also pretty easy to see that EMC has a spectacular earnings history, Moore said.
Other key data available in Value Line includes a history of dividends, which is vital to people depending upon stocks for income. You also can learn the stock's yield, which is dividends divided by the stock price, and the all-important earnings per share net income divided by the number of shares of common stock "outstanding."
Stocks with high yield and earnings per share may cost you a premium, Moore said, but the goal is to study the reports and find stocks that will earn more money next year than they did last year.
To reach Tom Ross call 871-4210
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org