The net change percentage indicates how much the value of a stock has increased relative to the amount you paid for it. When figuring the change for a stock, you have to account for dividends paid in addition to any change in the stock price. If the dividends hadn't been paid to you and other stockholders, the company would still have that money, making the stock more valuable. As a result, you'll need to know the original value of the stock, its current value and the dividends you've received.

Add any dividends paid on the stock while you owned it to the current stock price to find the total return. Say you've owned the stock for one year and it's paid $3 in dividends. If the current value is $73, add three to get $76.

Subtract the old stock price from the net value to find the net change. In this example, if you purchased the stock for $71, subtract $71 from $76 to get a net change of $5.

Divide the net change by the purchase price to figure the rate of change expressed as decimal. In this example, divide $5 by $71 to get 0.0704.

Multiply the rate of change to find the net change percentage for the stock. In this example, multiply 0.0704 by 100 to find the change equals 7.04 percent.

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