DURATION, in securities, is a measure in years of interest rate risk for a specific security or portfolio. Duration is the weighted average time to receive the present value of cash flows from a specific security or portfolio. When the duration is divided by the discount rate plus one, the resulting modified duration measures the sensitivity of a bond to changes in interest rates. Used by bond managers instead of maturity as it accounts for all principal and interest cash flows in addition to the final maturity payment. For example, the duration of a 10-year zero-coupon bond equals its maturity of 10, while the duration of a 10-year 7.5% coupon bond is less than seven years.

PRICE TO EARNINGS RATIO (P/E) is a performance benchmark that can be used as a comparison against other companies or within the stocks own historical performance. For instance, if a stock has historically run at a P/E of 35 and the current P/E is 12, you may want to explore the reasons for the drastic change. If you believe that the ratio is too low, you may want to buy the stock. You will generally find a P/E ratio based on either the prior reporting years earnings, or the earnings of the prior four quarters added together (LTM or Latest Twelve Months). Formula: Stock Price divided by the Earnings Per Share.

STANDARD COST PRICING is a development of the cost-plus approach to setting prices is to use cost 'standards' based on management accounting systems. Variable costs of production (materials, labor, bought-in components, etc.) are added up and divided by the number of units intended to be produced to give a variable cost per unit. Similarly running costs of the organization (rent, rates, energy, maintenance, together with management and administrative costs) are totaled and divided by the number of units to be sold to provide the fixed cost per unit. Finally the profit required is added in on a per unit basis. Adding together the variable cost, fixed cost and profit per unit gives the selling price.

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