Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Inc. (RBA) shares fall following downgrade at Zacks Investment Research

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Inc. (NYSE: RBA) shares fell on 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 downgraded 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 downgraded shares of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Inc. (NYSE: RBA) from Buy to Hold in a research note to investors today. The company currently has a rating of Hold on the shares. The one-year price target of $38.72 is higher than the opening price of $38.40, that has caused a number of other analysts to comment on the stock recently. Looking back over the last 52 weeks, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Inc. stock has a high of $38.62. Downgrades occur when analysts feel that the future prospects for the security have weakened from the initial recommendation, usually due to a material and major digression in the company’s actions, future vision or industry.

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Inc. (NYSE: RBA) shares last traded at $38.03, which is a dip of $0.20 per share or -0.52% compared to the previous closing price. Opening at $38.40, they ranged from $38.03 and $38.62 throughout the day.

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Inc. (NYSE: RBA) now has a market cap of 4.06B.

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Inc. (NYSE: RBA) Average Daily Trading Volume

The stock’s average daily volume is 599,225 shares out of a total float 106,324,000 and some 23,167 shares traded hands yesterday, below the average. Momentum traders often use swings in trading volume to determine substantial volume aggregation or distribution by institutional investors, so trading volume is likely to increase in the next few days.

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

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

Institutional investors such as these have teams of analysts that investigate thousands of stocks, so it is good validation to see them taking a postion in a stock you are considering.

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Inc. (NYSE: RBA) 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,it allows for traders to make more effective judgments on trades.

With that in mind, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Inc. (NYSE: RBA) now has a 50-day MA of $35.84 and 200-day MA of $33.63. It has traded in a 52-week range between $21.03 – 38.62 and today’s last price is 1.53%% lower than the 52 week high of $38.62.

Indeed, earnings growth is among the most important things to look at in regards to stock investing and, accordingly, investors look for companies that have raised their earnings by at least 25% over a 3 year period.

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