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Friday, August 5, 2011

Price to Book - P/B

Investors looking for hot stocks aren’t the only ones trolling the markets. A quiet group of folks called value investors go about their business looking for companies that the market has passed by.

Some of these investors become quite wealthy finding sleepers, holding on to them for the long term as the companies go about their business without much attention from the market, until one day they pop up on the screen, and some analyst “discovers” them and bids up the stock. Meanwhile, the value investor pockets a hefty profit.

Value investors look for some other indicators besides earnings growth and so on. One of the metrics they look for is the Price to Book ratio or P/B. This measurement looks at the value the market places on the book value of the company.

You calculate the P/B by taking the current price per share and dividing by the book value per share.

P/B = Share Price / Book Value Per Share

Like the P/E, the lower the P/B, the better the value. Value investors would use a low P/B in stock screens, for instance, to identify potential candidates.