How to Read a Stock
• Locate the abbreviated name of the company. The abbreviation
usually appears in the third column ("Stock").
• Look at the 52-week high ("Hi"). This is the highest
price anyone has paid for the stock in the past year, and it appears
in the first column.
• Find the 52-week low ("Low"). This is the lowest
price paid for the stock in the past year. The figure appears in
the second column.
• Note the ticker symbol. This symbol,
used by the stock exchange to identify the company, appears in the
• Check the dividend and yield figures that appear in the
fifth and sixth columns. "Div" is the amount of cash that
would be paid to shareholders yearly based on the most recent quarterly
payment. "Yld" is the cash dividend divided by the closing
price of the stock.
• Review the "PE" figure that appears in the sixth
column. The price-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing the closing
price by earnings for the past four quarters combined. This provides
a way to compare stock values.
• Note the seventh column, "Vol.," which shows how
many shares of the stock changed hands the previous business day.
• Glance at the eighth and ninth columns, which show the highest
price and the lowest price paid for the stock on that day.
• Read the last two columns to get out the price at which
the stock closed for the day ("Close") and the net change
("Net chg") from the day before.