Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) Downgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Analysts at Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) from Buy to Hold in a research note to investors today. Zacks Investment Research currently has a rating of Hold on the shares. As a means of comparison, a number of other analysts have issued reports on the company in recent days, and the company has secured a consensus one-year price target of $204.83, higher than the opening price of $174.49, a difference of 11.65 percent. Humana Inc. stock has a 52-week high of $191.65. Downgrades happen when analysts believe that the future prospects for the security have diminished from the initial recommendation, often caused by a material and crucial change in the company’s actions, future outlook or industry.

The Fed stood pat on interest rates on Wednesday, helping stocks to mostly higher levels but Chairwoman Janet Yellen indicated an interest rate hike is likely by year’s end

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 SPX, +1.09% ended 1.1% higher, while the Dow DJIA, +0.90% jumped by 0.9%, or 164 points, as each exchange finished in positive territory for a second consecutive day.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite COMP, +1.03% tacked on 1% and scored a record closing high.

S&P 500 futures ESZ6, +0.36% were up 6.55 points, or 0.3%, to 2,162.75 early Thursday, while Dow Jones Industrial Average futures YMZ6, +0.37% rose 58 points, or 0.3%, to 18,276. Nasdaq-100 futures NQZ6, +0.39% gained 16.25 points, or 0.3%, to 4,866.25.

Shares of Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) opened at $174.49 yesterday and traded in a range between, $174.30 and $176.00, and last traded at $175.85, an increase of $1.33 from the previous closing price.

Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) now has a market cap of 26.21B.

677,047 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, lower than normal, out of a total float 139,932,000. Trading volume is likely to increase in the next few days as investors often use increases in trading volume to identify substantial volume growth or distribution by institutional investors.

While increased trading for short periods will not mean much, however, a trend of heavy trading volume on the buy side over a series of days or weeks delivers a positive cue to market traders that institutions may be moving in, so institutional sponsorship is critical.

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

These instituitional investors have substantial teams of analysts researching thousands of stocks, so it is good corroboration to see them buying a stock you are considering.

By marking the activity of these professional investors—and the moving averages they influence— traders are able to make make the best trades.

With that in mind, Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) now has a 50-day MA of $177.35 and 200-day MA of $176.67. It has traded in a 52-week range between $150.00 – 191.65 and today’s last price is 0.08% lower than the 52 week high of $191.65.

Earnings growth is a crucial factor to consider when investing in stocks and investors seek companies that have been successful at growing their earnings by at least 25% for the past 3 years.

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