Central Garden & Pet Company (CENT) stock down despite upgrade at Zacks Investment Research

Central Garden & Pet Company (NASDAQ: CENT) shares slid back in value on Monday February 6 on slower trade volume than normal after a number of analysts weighed in on the investing value of the stock with a upgraded rating.

Investors turned cautious in early trading today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, was off by 17 points, or 0.1%, to 20.054.

The S&P 500 SPX, -0.14% eased 5 points, or 0.2%, to 2,293, with seven of the 11 main sectors trading lower. Nearly all main sectors were trading lower, while materials and consumer staples led the losses.

The Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.14% slipped 10 points, or 0.2%, at 5,144.

Analysts at Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Central Garden & Pet Company (NASDAQ: CENT) from Hold to Buy today. With a rating of Buy on the shares, the company has a 52-week high of $35.38. As a means of comparison, a number of other analysts have commented on the stock in recent days, and Central Garden & Pet Company has earned a consensus one-year price target of $34.00, higher than the opening price of $33.74, a difference of 10.49 percent. Typically, after analysts give an upgrade report on a stock, they will subsequently issue other updates, usually followed by a price target change.

Yesterday Central Garden & Pet Company (NASDAQ: CENT) shares last traded at $32.42, which represents a drop of $0.38 over the previous closing price. Opening at $33.74, they fluctuated from $31.81 and $33.74 throughout the day.

Central Garden & Pet Company (NASDAQ: CENT) currently has a market cap of 1.66B.

Central Garden & Pet Company (NASDAQ: CENT) Average Daily Trading Volume

41,138 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, 56 percent below normal, out of a total float 45,032,000. lower than normal. Look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days as swing traders often use swings in trading volume to identify heavy volume accumulation or distribution by institutional investors.

However, a single day of heavy buy side trading is not enough to assert a trend. As such, market traders will continue to watch for institutional sponsorship as a signal that financial institutions are moving forward.

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

These professional investors have teams of analysts that research thousands of stocks. So watching their interests is a good way to make sure you are buying the right stocks.

Central Garden & Pet Company (NASDAQ: CENT) 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 traders to make those trends work in their favor and increase the number of winning trades.

With that in mind, Central Garden & Pet Company (NASDAQ: CENT) now has a 50-day MA of $33.24 and 200-day MA of $28.11. It has traded in a 52-week range between $13.69 – 35.38 and today’s last price is 8.37%% lower than the 52 week high of $35.38.

Indeed, earnings growth is among the most critical things to look at in regards to stock investing and, accordingly, investors seek companies that have grown their earnings at least 25% or more for the past 3 years.

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