Reading a Stock Quote

Let’s look at some of the numbers, and terms that pop up when you get a stock quote online. Here’s a screenshot of BP’s stock quote from yahoo finance on the London Stock Exchange from 14 Dec 2011.

stock quote from yahoo finance

Stock Symbol - The symbol of the stock, sometimes called as the ticker symbol is the main identifier of a stock. Since stock names can be long, and easily misspelt, stock symbols are primarily used for quotes.

Stock Name – The full name of the stock.

Last Trade – The last price the stock traded at.

Trade Time – The last time the stock was traded.

Change – This is the net & percentage price change since the previous day’s stock closing price.

Prev Close – The price at the closing time for the previous trading day.

– The opening price of the current trading day.

Bid – This is the highest price a buyer is willing to pay for a stock.

Ask – This is the price a seller is willing to accept for a stock.

1y Target Est – This is the price the analysts think the stock price will be in one year’s time.

Day’s Range – The current day’s trading range (high & low values)

52wk Range – The previous 52 weeks trading range (high & low values)

Volume – The number of shares traded during the day.

Avg Vol – The average daily trading volume for a stock. Stocks with a high average trading volume means there is alot of liquidity in the security. This is good for investors, as it means the stock is easily traded.

Market Cap - A measurement of the value of the voting ownership interest that shareholders hold in a business enterprise. It is calculated as the share price multiplied by the number of shares outstanding.

P/E (ttm) – The price to earnings ratio for the most recent 12 months. This is calculated by dividing the previous closing stock price by the revenue per share.

EPS (ttm) – The Earnings Per Share for the most recent 12 months.

Div & Yield – The dividend paid out per share. The Yield is the dividend amount divided by the stock price.