The low-down on stock jargon

The low-down on stock jargon

Indian stock markets are on a bull run unlike any in recent memory. While it is not easy to figure out what to buy and sell in such a market, most investors don’t realize that there is a lot of handy data available daily in many newspapers’ stock pages, including Mint’s Markets Watch, which comes as a lift-out section Tuesday to Saturday. In addition to the basics, such as closing share prices, there are a lot of other indicators in most stocks pages that could seem confusing at first glance, but if decoded properly, can help investors get a handle on a company’s stock. This ready reckoner uses Mint’s Markets Watch page to show what we mean

The closing price of a stock is the average of the last 10-30 minutes of trading that happens on a day.

S1 Previous close (Pr.CL)

Ticker:It helps in calculating the next day’s change in stock price.

Tip:It is taken into consideration to exclude investor manipulations.

S2 Open/High/Low/Close

The price at which a stock opened and its highest and lowest points on a trading day.

Ticker: Stock exchanges have limits of how high or low the stock can trade on the following day, called circuit filters.

Tip: Range of prices, as in open, high and low, helps to measure the volatility of a stock.

S3 % change

It is the difference between the closing price on the last and current trading day.

Ticker:When demand increases, the price of the share also tends to go up.

Tip: Any unusual jump in share prices could be due to positive or negative news inflows.

S4 Volume in ,000

Number of shares traded on the Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange

Ticker:Large-cap companies tend to have higher volume than small-cap companies.

Tip:The higher the volume, the easier it is to buy or sell the stock.

S5 52-Week High and Low

Yearly high and low price of the stock for the past 52 weeks.

Ticker: A large gap between 52-week high and low of a stock implies high volatility.

Tip: High price is the resistance level and low price is the support level for the stock.

S6 P/E:

Price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio is the stock price divided by the earning per share (EPS).

Ticker: A high P/E can mean an overpriced stock but could also indicate good future prospects of a company. A low P/E may mean the stock is either undervalued or unattractive.

Tip: P/E should be interpreted in relation to projected growth in earnings.

S7Market Capitalization (M.Cap)

Calculated by multiplying the current share price by the number of shares issued.

Ticker: Free-float market shares are those available for trading by anyone.

Tip: Sensex is calculated on free-float M.Cap.

S8 30 DMA

It is the mean of closing prices for 30 days.

Ticker: If the divergence between price and the moving average is high, then there is a tendency for the price to revert back.

Tip:Longer the period of moving average, the more accurate the trend.

S9 Dividend

It is appropriated from the company’s profits.

Ticker: Given on face or par value of share.

Tip: Mature companies have a high payout ratio as they may have few profitable opportunities. Growth companies have a low payout ratio.


Earning per share (EPS) is the net profit, after adjustments, split between all outstanding shares.

Ticker: Growth and a comparison with peers.

Tip: High EPS, but low dividend, means a company expects significant investment activity in the future.


Dividend per share divided by the price per share.

Ticker: An increase in dividend payout ratio means a permanent increase in a firm’s expected earnings.

Tip: If the market price of the share increases, dividend yield decreases.

Face Value (FV) & Book Value (BV) Face Value is the original cost of the stock shown on the share certificate, while Book Value per share is the net worth of the company divided by the number of outstanding shares.

Ticker: If two stocks are trading at Rs1,000, but their face values are at Rs10 and Rs100, then the stock with an FV of Rs10 has given more returns compared with a stock of FV at Rs100.

Tip: In case of a stock split, companies split the face value of the company.