Atwood Oceanics Inc. (ATW) Shares Slip, Investors Watching Closely, Here is Why

Atwood Oceanics Inc. (NYSE: ATW) shares rose on Thursday Nov 17 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, stocks opened flat this morning, struggling for direction in early trade ahead of congressional testimony by Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen. Ahead of an appearance before the Joint Economic Committee, Yellen said an interest-rate hike could come “relatively soon,”

The S&P 500 SPX, +0.25% fell less than 0.1% to 2,176.85 while Dow Industrials DJIA, -0.05% fell 9 points to 18,858. The Nasdaq Composite COMP, +0.18% declined 0.1% to 5,291.48.

Shares of Atwood Oceanics Inc. (NYSE: ATW) were downgraded by analysts at Iberia Capital in a note to their investors today. With a rating of Sector Perform on the stock, the company has a 52-week high of $16.57. A number of other analysts have spoken on the stock recently, and Atwood Oceanics Inc. has earned a consensus one-year price target of $8.62, higher than the opening price of $7.64. Downgrades are more likely when analysts believe that the future prospects for the security have dropped from the initial recommendation, usually caused by an important and crucial digression in the company’s operations, future direction or industry.

Atwood Oceanics Inc. (NYSE: ATW) shares last traded at $7.99, a spike of $0.25 or 3.23% over the previous closing price. Opening at $7.64, they fluctuated from $7.57 and $8.00 throughout the day.

Atwood Oceanics Inc. (NYSE: ATW) currently has a market cap of 517.97M.

Atwood Oceanics Inc. (NYSE: ATW) Average Daily Trading Volume

The stock’s average daily volume is 3,930,110 shares out of a total float 60,302,000 and some 903,340 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, lower than the average. Investors often use upticks in trading volume to pinpoint substantial volume growth or dissemination by institutional investors, so trading volume is likely to increase in the next few days.

However, a single day of high volume buy side trading is not enough to assert a trend. So market traders will continue to look for institutional sponsorship as a signal that financial institutions are moving forward.

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

Institutional investors such as these have teams of analysts that research thousands of stocks. So watching their interests is a good way to ensure you are buying the right stocks.

Atwood Oceanics Inc. (NYSE: ATW) 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 spotting trends, moving averages allow investors to make those trends work in their favor and increase the number of successful trades.

With that in mind, Atwood Oceanics Inc. (NYSE: ATW) now has a 50-day MA of $8.41 and 200-day MA of $9.77. It has traded in a 52-week range between $4.82 – 16.57 and today’s last price is 51.78%% lower than the 52 week high of $16.57.

Earnings growth is an important factor to consider when buying stocks and investors identify companies that have been successful at growing their earnings by at least 25% for a 3 year period.

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