Greif Inc. (GEF) Shares Slip, Investors Watching Closely, Here is Why

Greif Inc. (NYSE: GEF) shares fell on Monday Nov 21 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 were set to open up this morning. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures YMZ6, +0.20% was 10 points, or less than 0.1%, higher at 18,863, while S&P 500 index futures ESZ6, +0.44% rose 3.95 points, or 0.2%, at 2,184.75. Nasdaq-100 NQZ6, +0.74% added 12.25 points, or 0.2%, to 4,820.75.

Analysts at Wells Fargo & Co. downgraded shares of Greif Inc. (NYSE: GEF) from Outperform to Market Perform in a research note to investors today. Wells Fargo & Co. currently has a rating of Market Perform on the stock. As a means of comparison, a number of other analysts have commented on the stock in recent days, and Greif Inc. has secured a consensus one-year price target of $46.75, a decrease compared to the opening price of $53.94, a difference of 8.67 percent. Greif Inc. stock has a 52-week high of $57.97. Downgrades occur when analysts believe that the future prospects for the security have diminished from the original recommendation, usually because of an important and crucial change in the company’s operations, future direction or industry.

Shares of Greif Inc. (NYSE: GEF) opened at $53.94 on Monday and traded in a range between, $51.79 and $54.46, and last traded at $53.92, which is a dip of $1.86 per share or -3.33% over the previous closing price.

Greif Inc. (NYSE: GEF) currently has a market cap of 2.58B.

Greif Inc. (NYSE: GEF) Average Daily Trading Volume

The stock’s average daily volume is 234,502 shares out of a total float 28,751,000 and some 126,207 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, lower than the norm. Trading volume is likely to increase in the next few days as investors often use upticks in trading volume to determine large volume accumulation or circulation by institutional investors.

However, one day of heavy buy side trading is not enough to determine a trend. So market traders will continue to watch for institutional sponsorship as a cue 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.

Institutional investors such as these retain teams of analysts that research thousands of stocks, so it is good confirmation to see them taking a postion in a stock you are researching.

Greif Inc. (NYSE: GEF) 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 more effective choices on trades when they follow the trading habits of professional investors.

Trades for Greif Inc. (NYSE: GEF) have ranged from $23.88 – 57.97, and the stock now has a 50-day MA of $48.70 and 200-day MA of $42.40. Today’s last price is 6.99%% below the 52 week high of $57.97.

Earnings growth is a critical factor to look at when investing in stocks and investors look for companies that have increased their earnings by at least 25% over the past 3 years.

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