MSA Safety Inc. (MSA) shares fall following downgrade at Zacks Investment Research

MSA Safety Inc. (NYSE: MSA) 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 MSA Safety Inc. (NYSE: MSA) from Buy to Hold in a research note to investors today. With a rating of Hold on the stock, MSA Safety Inc. has a 52-week high of $71.28. The one-year price target of $60.50 is a decrease compared to the opening price of $69.26, that has caused a number of other analysts to issue statements on the company recently. Considerable and crucial digressions in the company’s procedures, future outlook or industry can cause downgrades as the analysts believe that the future prospects for the security have dropped from the initial recommendation.

MSA Safety Inc. (NYSE: MSA) shares last traded at $69.26, which is an increase of $0.19 or 0.28% from the previous closing price. Opening at $69.26, they varied from $69.26 and $69.50 throughout the day.

MSA Safety Inc. (NYSE: MSA) currently has a market cap of 2.60B.

MSA Safety Inc. (NYSE: MSA) Average Daily Trading Volume

4,806 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, lower than the average, out of a total float 31,967,000. Look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days as swing traders often use upticks in trading volume to determine heavy volume aggregation or circulation by institutional investors.

While an increase in 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 signal to market traders that institutions may be moving in, so institutional sponsorship is very important.

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

These professional investors have teams of analysts that research thousands of stocks, so it is good validation to see them buying a stock you are researching.

MSA Safety Inc. (NYSE: MSA) 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 influence moving averages,it allows for traders to make more effective decisions on trades.

Trades for MSA Safety Inc. (NYSE: MSA) have ranged from $37.68 – 71.28, and the stock now has a 50-day MA of $65.33 and 200-day MA of $58.04. Today’s last price is 2.83%% below the 52 week high of $71.28.

Earnings growth is an important factor to look at when buying stocks and investors identify companies that have raised their earnings by at least 25% over 3 consecutive years.

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