When, in the course of investing events, you need to find out what a certain stock was trading for at a certain time in the past, you need a historical stock price. There are several ways to go about getting this information.
For starters, sometimes the company itself can tell you. Try giving its investor relations department a call. Another good resource is your public library, where librarians should be able to help you look up the price in newspaper archives or elsewhere.
But the easiest resource is your trusty computer -- as long as you don't need a price for a date many decades ago. From pretty much anywhere on the Fool.com website, look near the top and you'll see a "Quotes:" box. Enter the ticker symbol of the stock in question -- let's say it's Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM ) , for example -- and then click "Go." On the page you get, below a horizontal yellow bar and above the recent stock price, you'll see a bunch of links. Click on the "Historical Quotes" one.
Now you can enter a date. On Monday, Jan. 3, 2000, for example, Qualcomm's closing price was $179.31. The page also tells you that the "split-adjusted" price is $89.66. That's important. Note that the stock has recently been trading around $40 per share. You might think that it has fallen some 78%, from $179 to $40. Not so. There were stock splits in the interim, which makes the price of $179 in January 2000 equal to about $90. So the stock is really down some 56%, from $90 to $40. That's not great, but it's less terrible.
Our Quotes and Research area, reachable from the main navigation bar at the top of most Fool.com pages, is also handy when you want to look up other information on a company. There you'll find charts, snapshots of the business, some key ratios and measures, SEC filings, links to news stories, financial results summaries, and more.
Don't forget our vast array of discussion boards, too. We've got boards dedicated to hundreds (if not thousands) of individual stocks.
If you'd like to learn a lot of terms at once and also become skilled at reading financial statements, look into our "Crack the Code: Read Financial Statements Like a Pro" How-to Guide. Give it a whirl -- what do you have to lose, except your fear of financial statements?
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