OceanFirst Financial Corp. (OCFC) Stock Up After Upgrade at Zacks Investment Research

OceanFirst Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: OCFC) shares rose in value 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 upgraded 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 upgraded shares of OceanFirst Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: OCFC) from Hold to Buy today. With a rating of Buy on the stock, the company has a 52-week high of $24.15. A number of other analysts have issued reports on the stock in recent days, and OceanFirst Financial Corp. has earned a consensus one-year price target of $24.25, above the opening price of $23.74, a difference of 10.09 percent. Share prices often shift to the upside on recommendations and new price targets of professional analysts.

OceanFirst Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: OCFC) shares last traded at $24.04, a jump of $0.32 or 1.35% compared to the previous closing price. Opening at $23.74, they ranged from $23.74 and $24.15 throughout the day.

OceanFirst Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: OCFC) currently has a market cap of 611.43M.

OceanFirst Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: OCFC) Average Daily Trading Volume

The stock’s average daily volume is 107,277 shares out of a total float 19,983,000 and some 7,823 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, below normal. Investors often use increases in trading volume to identify substantial volume growth or circulation by institutional investors, so look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days.

As with all possible breakouts, investors look for volume to be at least 40%-50% above normal on the breakout to demonstrate that fund managers and other professional investors are jumping in.

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

These instituitional investors retain teams of analysts that research thousands of stocks, so it is good validation to see them buying a stock you’re researching.

OceanFirst Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: OCFC) 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 following the activity of these professional investors and how they affect moving averages, traders are able to make make the best trades.

With that in mind, OceanFirst Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: OCFC) now has a 50-day MA of $21.02 and 200-day MA of $19.36. It has traded in a 52-week range between $15.98 – 24.15 and today’s last price is 0.46%% lower than the 52 week high of $24.15.

Earnings growth is a crucial factor to look at when buying stocks and investors look for companies that have been successful at growing their earnings at least 25% or more for a 3 year period.

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