United Community Banks, Inc. (UCBI) Shares Slip, Investors Watching Closely, Here is Why

United Community Banks, Inc. (NASDAQ: UCBI) shares rose on Thursday Dec 1 with lower trade volume than normal after a number of analysts weighed in on the investing value of the stock with a downgraded rating.

Meanwhile, U.S. stocks opened with slight gains on Thursday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.31% rose 38.22 points, or 0.2%, to 19,174, while the S&P 500 SPX, +0.01% added 2.1 points to 2,202, a rise of 0.1%.

The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.32% rose less than 1 point to 5,323, essentially unchanged on the day.
Analysts at Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of United Community Banks, Inc. (NASDAQ: UCBI) from Buy to Hold in a research note to investors today. With a rating of Hold on the shares, the company has a 52-week high of $27.39. The one-year price target of $25.24 is a decrease compared to the opening price of $27.21, causing a number of other analysts to issue statements on the company recently. Material and crucial digressions in the company’s procedures, future outlook or industry can cause downgrades as the analysts consider that the future prospects for the security have weakened from the initial recommendation.

Shares of United Community Banks, Inc. (NASDAQ: UCBI) opened at $27.21 on Tuesday trading between $27.14 and $27.39, and last traded at $27.26, which is a jump of $0.08 or 0.29% from the previous closing price.

United Community Banks, Inc. (NASDAQ: UCBI) currently has a market cap of 1.93B.

United Community Banks, Inc. (NASDAQ: UCBI) Average Daily Trading Volume

48,161 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, lower than the norm, out of a total float 69,947,000. Swing traders often use upticks in trading volume to pinpoint heavy volume accumulation or circulation by institutional investors, so trading volume is likely to increase in the next few days.

While higher trading for short periods will not mean much, conversely, a trend of heavy trading volume on the buy side over a period of days or weeks delivers a positive cue 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.

Professional investors such as these retain substantial teams of analysts that investigate thousands of stocks. Thus, watching their interests is a good way to make sure you are buying the right stocks.

United Community Banks, Inc. (NASDAQ: UCBI) 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.

Traders are able to make make the best trades when they follow the trading habits of professional investors.

With that in mind, United Community Banks, Inc. (NASDAQ: UCBI) now has a 50-day MA of $23.03 and 200-day MA of $20.55. It has traded in a 52-week range between $15.74 – 27.39 and today’s last price is 0.47%% lower than the 52 week high of $27.39.

Earnings growth is a crucial factor to research when investing in stocks and investors watch for companies that have increased their earnings at least 25% or more over a 3 year period.

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