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A quick look at 52 week high and low stock prices: March 2009

March 30th, 2009 · Greg Atkinson · 8 Comments

In September last year I looked at the 52 week share price highs and lows for a range of well know stocks trading on the ASX. As luck would have it, a few days later Lehman Brothers went under and stock markets around the world tumbled. But now that the dust has settled (I hope), it might be interesting to go back and look at these companies and see what has happened to their stock prices since September 2008.

My idea behind looking at the 52 week prices for these stocks is to allow me to get a “feel” for where money is flowing in the stock market in terms of which types of stocks people may be buying and also if stocks are generally in favour or out of favour. I think everybody would agree that over the last 12 months or so stocks have been pretty heavily sold off and therefore at this point in time what I am looking for are the faintest signs that investors are once again buying shares. I am not trying to suggest that any of the stocks below should be bought or traded.

If you wish to check the 52 week high/low prices for these stocks back when I first looked at them in September you can find them here in the archive.

52 Week Stock Prices Highs/Lows (as of 27th March 2009)

Banks

Commonwealth Bank (CBA)    High – $46.69    Low – $20.03
National Australia Bank (NAB)    High – $34.68   Low – $15.85
Westpac Banking Corp (WBC)    High – $26.25    Low – $14.40
ANZ Banking Group (ANZ)    High – $24.28    Low – $11.83

Investment Banks

Macquarie Group (MQG)    High – $67.20    Low – $15.00
Babcock and Brown (BNB)    High – $16.60    Low – $0.14 (not trading)

Investment Management/Wealth Management

Platinum Asset Management (PTM)    High – $5.20    Low – $2.60
Wilson Investment Fund (WIL)    High – $0.88   Low – $0.41
Perpetual Limited (PPT)    High – $62.64    Low – $21.60

Consumer and Domestic Economy

Goodman Fielder (GFF)    High – $1.94    Low – $0.93
Domino’s Pizza (DMP)    High – $3.70    Low – $2.50
Virgin Blue Holdings (VBA)    High – $1.28   Low – $0.15
Telstra Corporation (TLS)    High – $4.86    Low – $2.93
Woolworths Limited (WOW) High – $30.97 Low – $22.85
Fairfax Media (FXJ) High – $3.39 Low – $0.80

Mining

BHP Billiton (BHP)    High – $50.00    Low – $20.00

Property

Australand Property Group (ALZ)    High – $1.55    Low – $0.19

I think if we look at the information above we can make a few observations:

  • The big four banks have certainly had their share prices savaged but they are all still standing without the need of any government bailouts. Although these banks have tested new 52 week lows since September they do appear to be currently staging a fightback. The investment banks have fared much worse with Macquarie Group hitting a low of $15 and Babcock & Brown now in the hands of administrators.
  • Companies that are exposed to mainly the domestic economy have been a bit of a mixed bag. Domino’s has done relatively well, Woolworths has held up okay (I guess people want their pizza’s and groceries even in a downturn) but Telstra has been thumped (thanks for nothing Sol), VBA is struggling and Fairfax Media has been trending down for months.
  • BHP has been moving up and down largely in response to changes in the global economic outlook as you would expect.
  • Australand pretty much reflects the state of most Listed Property Trusts (LPT’s) at the moment, they are all having a very hard time and their stock prices continue to struggle. It is difficult to imagine a turnaround in this sector until the global financial system starts to look lively again.

Most of the stocks above hit new lows during the last 6 months which to be honest I did not expect to happen, but the market is full of surprises these days; sadly most are not very pleasant. On a positive note most stocks are trending upwards of late thanks to a bit of an improvement in world markets over the last week…perhaps this be a sign that the fortunes of the stock market are on the rise? I suspect we will find out the answer to this question in April.

Finally please take into account that I have grouped the stocks in this article into categories that reflects broadly where they sit in the economy but it is still just a list of stocks, it is not meant to be a portfolio or act as some overall index by which stock market performance can be measured. It is just simply a group of stocks I watch. However if you feel I should pop in a few more companies or have any other suggestions then please feel free leave a comment.


8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 8020 Financial // Mar 31, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    What strikes me about this is how big the fall on most of these so called blue-chips has been. The bulk of my money (including super) has been in cash since 2007 but I can’t help feeling genuine sympathy for people who’ve sat by and watched their life savings vanish. Woolies seems the pick of the bunch, having *only* lost 25% or so (I know its recovered slightly recently).

    I don’t how it plays out from here. If the current rally turns sucker and we experience another fall of similar magnitude in the next 6-12 months it could be catastrophic – particularly with our interventionist government. Pakistan set a floor to stock prices last August – I could imagine the RuddSwan doing the same.

  • 2 Pete // Apr 1, 2009 at 12:13 am

    8020: How did Pakistan set a floor on stock prices? Do they simply make a law that says “stocks shall not be traded below the 52 week low?” or something?

    That would surely be an economy destroyer? Share market volumes would dwindle as no buyers can be found to buy overpriced companies (relative to P/E ratios, etc), and therefore people can’t sell their shares. Imagine if you ‘had to’ liquidate at all costs (eg, insolvency) but there were zero buyers?

    Perhaps I have it all wrong

  • 3 Greg Atkinson // Apr 1, 2009 at 9:41 am

    8020 I think at lot of the turmoil has been caused by the explosion in margin loans over the last say 5 years; this hit a lot of people from high flyers (like “fast Eddy”) to people who were probably told by their finanical adviser that borrowing to invest in shares was “tax effective”. However there are the long term hold investors as well and they will provide a fairly strong level of support..I just have no idea of where that level is. Also note that the buyers are starting to creep in..I think the takeover offer for MCG is first of many we will see. Not everyone in the world is broke..there are plenty of cashed up companies out there. (and plenty it seems in China and Japan)

  • 4 8020 Financial // Apr 1, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    @Pete
    Visit here for details of the Karachi exchange price floor: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601084&sid=aSz3qf2xfS14
    If I understand it correctly any order below the floor was simply not accepted by the exchange.
    You are right this policy would be disastrous for the real economy – essentially it is a subsidy to bad companies, and the larger and savvier investors would withdraw their money from a market regulated like this at the first opportunity, destroying liquidity.
    But I do believe such an action by the Australian government is well within the realm of possibility. While it would be irresponsible and short-sighted, it would also be popular.

    @ Greg
    Agree a lot of the drop is due to margin calls. The PE ratios on a lot of the ASX 100 companies do look very tasty at the moment. But for me personally, I wouldn’t play, or at least not as a buy and holder. I think it really depends on what happens to corporate earnings over the next 3-6 months.

  • 5 Senator13 // Apr 3, 2009 at 7:44 am

    I hope there are no more nasty surprises from the Banks because at current levels they are looking fairly good. I agree with 8020 that over the next 6 months will be a good indication of where things are at.

    If there are no more cutting of dividends and earnings remain steady then there could be some good value in the Banks.

  • 6 narbs12 // May 7, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    Pan Australian Resources (PNA) I hear could be on the move and one worth watching.

  • 7 Senator13 // May 7, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    Why is that?

  • 8 Greg Atkinson // May 25, 2009 at 12:25 am

    8020..have you been tempted by any “tasty” stocks?

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