Marlin Business Services Corp. (MRLN) stock steady after being downgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Marlin Business Services Corp. (NASDAQ: MRLN) shares rose on Thursday December 29 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 were little changed in early trade Thursday. The S&P 500 SPX, +0.04% rose 0.1% to 2,252, while the Dow DJIA, +0.04% advanced 16 points to 19,850. The Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.04% was virtually flat at 5,439.

Analysts at Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Marlin Business Services Corp. (NASDAQ: MRLN) from Hold to Sell in a research note to investors today. With a rating of Sell on the stock, the company has a 52-week high of $22.92. A number of other analysts have issued reports on the stock in recent days, and the company has earned a consensus one-year price target of $22.00, above the opening price of $21.60. Downgrades happen when analysts consider that the future prospects for the security have dropped from the original recommendation, often caused by an important and major digression in the company’s procedures, future vision or industry.

Shares of Marlin Business Services Corp. (NASDAQ: MRLN) opened at $21.60 on Tuesday and has traded in a range between, $21.60 and $21.96, and last traded at $21.80, which is an increase of $0.20 or 0.93% from the previous closing price.

Marlin Business Services Corp. (NASDAQ: MRLN) now has a market cap of 264.87M.

Marlin Business Services Corp. (NASDAQ: MRLN) Average Daily Trading Volume

2,268 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, lower than normal, out of a total float 8,210,000. Trading volume is likely to increase in the next few days as momentum traders often use upticks in trading volume to determine substantial volume aggregation or circulation by institutional investors.

While an increase in trading for one day will not mean much, conversely, a trend of heavy trading volume on the buy side over a series of days or weeks sends a positive signal 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 professional investors have substantial teams of analysts that research thousands of stocks. So watching their interests is a good way to ensure you are buying the right stocks.

Marlin Business Services Corp. (NASDAQ: MRLN) 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 identifying trends, moving averages allow investors to make those trends work in their favor and increase the number of successful trades.

Trades for Marlin Business Services Corp. (NASDAQ: MRLN) have ranged from $13.46 – 22.92, and the stock now has a 50-day MA of $20.54 and 200-day MA of $18.56. Today’s last price is 4.89%% below the 52 week high of $22.92.

Earnings growth is a crucial factor to research when buying stocks and investors identify companies that have grown their earnings by at least 25% for 3 consecutive years.

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