LOUISE FAIRSAVE: Reading a stock report
THIS ARTICLE IS BEST READ with a copy of the Barbados Securities Exchange Stock Report that is usually published in the MIDWEEK NATION. It lays out the report on the previous Tuesday’s trading.
The information in that stock report is set out in a tabular form. The companies traded on the stock exchange are listed in the first column and the information relative to each is presented in the row for the company. Starting at the top of the main table:
Column 1, Company: presents the name of the companies, of a deposit receipt and of the two closed-end mutual funds traded on the local stock exchange.
Column 2, Last Trade Date: reports the last date that the stock of each company traded on the exchange. Although a company’s stock may be available to trade whenever the stock exchange is opened for trading, it is not every day that its shares may be traded. Sometimes, the stock of a company may not be traded for months.
Column 3, Volume: reports the number of shares of the company’s stock that was traded on the date of the report. Volumes for other trading dates are not shown.
Columns 4 and 5, High and Low: report the highest and lowest price per share at which the volume of shares traded on that day.
Column 6, Last Close: presents the price per share at which the company’s stock was traded on the most recent previous occasion before the date of the report.
Column 7, Current Close: presents the last price per share at which the company’s stock was traded up until the close of business on the date of the report. With regards to a deposit receipt, the close price would reflect the up-to-date valuation of that security per unit.
Column 8, Price Change: sets out the change in price per share between the current close price and the last close price. When this number is positive, the stock of that company is said to be up; it is called down when this number is negative, and flat when there is no difference in the prices.
Column 9, Bid Price: reflects the maximum amount that a buyer is willing to pay per share for the company’s stock on the trading day.
Column 10, Ask Price: reflects the minimum price a seller is willing to accept per share of the company’s stock on the trading day. The difference between the ask price and the bid price is called the “spread”, which can be to the broker’s benefit if he can achieve the purchase at the bid price and then sell the stock at the ask price. Generally, the smaller the spread, the more readily the shares are likely to trade.
Columns 11 and 12, Bid Size and Ask Size: report the number of shares being sought for purchase in the Bid column and the number of shares offered for sale in the Ask column.
The stock report also contains similar information on Fixed Income securities, providing the Bid and Ask Prices and Volumes per unit of the particular fixed income security.
For example, the stock report for Tuesday, October 18, showed that only shares in Goddard Enterprises Limited, Massy Holdings Limited, One Caribbean Media Limited and Trinidad Cement Limited were traded on that day.
For Goddard Enterprises, 79 500 shares were sold at a high price of $9 per share and a low of $8.81. These shares were up 5 cents compared to the last closing price. Buyers were offering to buy 641 shares at $8.80 and sellers were asking $9 for 11 000 shares.
• Louise Fairsave is a personal financial management adviser, providing practical advice on money and estate matters. Her advice is general in nature; readers should seek advice about their specific circumstances.