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How to Read a Stock Listing / Quote

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Examine the table below. The first two columns in the listing provide the highest and lowest prices at which the stock has traded in the last 52 weeks. The next two columns give the name of the stock and its symbol. The next figure is the dividend payout. The 4.84 means that the firm paid shareholders an annualized cash dividend in the last quarter of $4.84 per share (i.e., the actual quarterly dividend was $1.21).

52 Weeks Hi Lo Stock Sym Div Yld% PE Vol 100s Hi Lo Close Net Chg
123.125 93.375 IBM IBM 4.84 4.2 16 14591 115 113 114.75 +1.375

Next is the dividend yield, defined as the annualized dollar dividend divided by the stock’s price, expressed as a percentage. Next is the price/earnings ration, the ratio of the current stock price to earnings during the most recent four quarters.

The volume column shows how many shares were traded on the exchange on that trading day. Shares are usually traded in round lots of 100 shares. Investors who want to trade in smaller quantities called odd lots generally must pay higher commissions to their stockbrokers. The last four columns of the above table show the day’s high, low, and closing stock prices and the change from the previous closing price.

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