Benefitfocus, Inc. (BNFT) stock starts with “Buy” rating in note to investors by Berenberg Bank

Benefitfocus, Inc. (NASDAQ: BNFT) shares fell on Tuesday February 7 on lower trade volume than normal after more analysts initiated coverage on the stock.

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.

Analysts at Berenberg Bank initiated coverage on Benefitfocus, Inc. (NASDAQ: BNFT) stock, starting the company at Buy. With a rating of Buy on the shares, the company has a 52-week high of $44.98. A number of other analysts have commented on the stock recently, and the company has secured a consensus one-year price target of $39.78, higher than the opening price of $28.80, a difference of 13.84 percent. Price changes targets are not uncommon as analysts and brokerage firms will publish periodic updates after beginning or initiating coverage.

Shares of Benefitfocus, Inc. (NASDAQ: BNFT) opened at $28.80 yesterday trading between $28.70 and $29.20, and last traded at $28.75, which is a drop of $0.05 over the previous closing price.

Benefitfocus, Inc. (NASDAQ: BNFT) currently has a market cap of 855.31M.

Benefitfocus, Inc. (NASDAQ: BNFT) Average Daily Trading Volume

37,042 shares traded hands yesterday, 19 percent below the norm, out of a total float 21,367,000. lower than normal. Look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days as momentum traders often use swings in trading volume to identify heavy volume accumulation or distribution by institutional investors.

While increased trading for one day will not mean much, conversely, a trend of heavy trading volume on the buy side over a period of days or weeks sends a positive signal to market traders that institutions may be moving in, so institutional sponsorship is very important.

Institutional sponsorship is defined by ownership of a stock by mutual funds, banks, pension funds and other large institutions.

These instituitional investors retain substantial teams of analysts that research thousands of stocks, so it is good corroboration to see them buying a stock you are considering.

Benefitfocus, Inc. (NASDAQ: BNFT) 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 identifying trends, moving averages allow investors to make those trends work in their favor and increase the number of winning trades.

With that in mind, Benefitfocus, Inc. (NASDAQ: BNFT) now has a 50-day MA of $30.50 and 200-day MA of $35.08. It has traded in a 52-week range between $21.55 – 44.98 and today’s last price is 36.08%% lower than the 52 week high of $44.98.

Indeed, earnings growth is among the most important things to look at in regards to stock investing and, accordingly, investors watch for companies that have increased their earnings by at least 25% over a 3 year period.

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