athenahealth Inc. (ATHN) stock starts with “Buy” rating in note to investors by Dougherty & Co

athenahealth Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHN) shares rose on Friday Dec 2 with lighter trade volume than normal after more analysts initiated coverage on the stock.

Meanwhile, U.S. stocks edged lower on Friday, with major indexes on track for a weekly decline.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.14% fell 23 points, or 0.1%, to 19,169, while the S&P 500 SPX, +0.09% lost 1.2 point to 2,190, a move of less than 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.15% fell 5.3 points, or 0.1%, to 5,247.

Analysts at Dougherty & Co initiated coverage on athenahealth Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHN) stock, starting the company at Buy. With a rating of Buy on the stock, athenahealth Inc. has a 52-week high of $168.00. The one-year price target of $130.20 is above the opening price of $93.49, resulting a number of other analysts to report on the company in recent days. Changes in price targets are not unheard of as analysts and brokerage firms will issue periodic updates after beginning or initiating coverage.

Shares of athenahealth Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHN) opened at $93.49 on Tuesday and has traded in a range between, $92.61 and $97.88, and last traded at $95.75, an increase of $3.34 or 3.61% over the previous closing price.

athenahealth Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHN) currently has a market cap of 3.78B.

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

The stock’s average daily volume is 503,603 shares out of a total float 34,328,000 and some 201,081 shares traded hands yesterday, below the norm. Trading volume is likely to increase in the next few days as swing traders often use swings in trading volume to determine substantial volume growth or dissemination by institutional investors.

However, one day of significant buy side trading is not enough to determine a trend. So market traders will continue to look for institutional sponsorship as an indicator that financial institutions are moving forward.

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

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

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 influence— traders are able to make make smarter trades.

Trades for athenahealth Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHN) have ranged from $91.83 – 168.000, and the stock now has a 50-day MA of $108.82 and 200-day MA of $123.08. Today’s last price is 43.01%% lower than the 52 week high of $168.00.

Earnings growth is a critical 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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