athenahealth, Inc. (ATHN) stock slides, “Outperform” rating reiterated by Piper Jaffray Companies Analysts

athenahealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHN) shares fell on Tuesday February 7 on lower trade volume than normal after a number of analysts weighed in on the investing value of the stock and reiterated thier respective ratings.

U.S. stocks were up in early trade on Tuesday which could put the equity market on track to set new records.

Investors were focusing on earnings, with GM and Michael Kors making moves after reporting early.

S&P 500 futures ESH7, +0.31% rose 7 points, or 0.3%, to 2,293.50, while Dow Jones Industrial Average futures YMH7, +0.46% tacked on 70 points, or 0.4%, to 20,042. Nasdaq-100 futures NQH7, +0.48% added 14 points, or 0.3%, to 5,171.75.

athenahealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHN) had its Outperform rating reiterated by equities researchers at Piper Jaffray Companies in a research note to investors. With a rating of Outperform on the shares, athenahealth, Inc. has a 52-week high of $143.84. The one-year price target of $129.39 is higher than the opening price of $111.44, resulting a fair amount of other analysts to report on the company in recent days. Stock prices often trend to the upside on recommendations and new price targets of professional analysts.

Shares of athenahealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHN) opened at $111.44 yesterday and traded in a range between, $109.85 and $111.55, and last traded at $110.03, which represents a dip of $0.59 from the previous closing price.

athenahealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHN) currently has a market cap of 4.35B.

athenahealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHN) Average Daily Trading Volume

41,840 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, 20 percent lower than normal, out of a total float 38,999,000. lower than normal. Look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days as swing traders often use increases in trading volume to identify heavy volume accumulation or distribution by institutional investors.

As with all potential breakouts, investors look for volume to be at least 40%-50% higher than normal on the breakout to show that fund managers and other professional investors are jumping in.

Institutional sponsorship just refers to ownership of a stock by mutual funds, banks, pension funds and other large institutions.

Institutional investors such as these have substantial teams of analysts researching thousands of stocks, so it is good validation to see them buying a stock you are researching.

athenahealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHN) Moving Averages

A moving average can also act as support or resistance. In an uptrend a 50-day, 100-day or 200-day moving average may act as a support level, as shown in the figure below.

This is because the average acts like a floor (support), so the price bounces up off of it.

In a downtrend a moving average may act as resistance; like a ceiling, the price hits it and then starts to drop again.

By tracking the activity of these professional investors—and the moving averages they affect—it allows for traders to make more effective decisions on trades.

Trades for athenahealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHN) have ranged from $90.11 – 143.845, and the stock now has a 50-day MA of $116.48 and 200-day MA of $115.67. Today’s last price is 23.51%% lower than the 52 week high of $143.84.

Earnings growth is an important factor to consider when investing in stocks and investors seek companies that have grown their earnings by at least 25% for the past 3 years.

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