Westmoreland Coal Co. (WLB) Stock Trending Up After Price Target Increase at FBR & Co

Westmoreland Coal Co. (NASDAQ: WLB) shares rose on Wednesday Nov 23 with lighter trade volume than normal after a number of analysts weighed in on the investing value of the stock, raising the price target of stock.

Meanwhile, in early trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.03% fell 3.5 points to 19,019, essentially unchanged on the day. The S&P 500 SPX, -0.26% fell 7 points, or 0.3%, to 2,196, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.48% shed 34 points to 5,353, a loss of 0.6%.

Westmoreland Coal Co. (NASDAQ: WLB) had its price target boosted by equities researchers at FBR & Co from $16.00 to $22.00. The company currently has a rating of Outperform on the stock. As a means of comparison, a number of other analysts have issued reports on the company in recent days, and Westmoreland Coal Co. has secured a consensus one-year price target of $14.00, a decrease compared to the opening price of $15.40, a difference of 9.12 percent. Westmoreland Coal Co. stock has a 52-week high of $17.37.

Westmoreland Coal Co. (NASDAQ: WLB) shares last traded at $15.35, an increase of $0.05 or 0.33% compared to the previous closing price. Opening at $15.40, they fluctuated from $15.12 and $15.45 throughout the day.

Westmoreland Coal Co. (NASDAQ: WLB) currently has a market cap of 285.05M.

Westmoreland Coal Co. (NASDAQ: WLB) Average Daily Trading Volume

The stock’s average daily volume is 243,075 shares out of a total float 12,665,000 and some 51,718 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, lower than the average. Look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days as investors often use increases in trading volume to pinpoint heavy volume aggregation or distribution by institutional investors.

While higher trading for one day will not mean much, conversely, a trend of heavy trading volume on the buy side over a period of days or weeks delivers a positive signal to market traders that institutions may be moving in, so institutional sponsorship is crucial.

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

These instituitional investors have teams of analysts researching thousands of stocks, so it is good validation to see them taking a postion in a stock you’re considering.

Westmoreland Coal Co. (NASDAQ: WLB) 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 the moving averages they affect— traders are able to make make the best trades.

With that in mind, Westmoreland Coal Co. (NASDAQ: WLB) now has a 50-day MA of $11.19 and 200-day MA of $9.40. It has traded in a 52-week range between $3.44 – 17.37 and today’s last price is 11.63%% lower than the 52 week high of $17.37.

Indeed, earnings growth is among the most crucial things to look at in regards to stock investing and, accordingly, investors watch for companies that have grown their earnings at least 25% or more for 3 consecutive years.

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