Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (AMPH) shares fall following downgrade at Zacks Investment Research

Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMPH) shares rose on Wednesday Jan 4 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 higher on Wednesday as banking stocks led the Dow Jones Industrial Average closer to the 20,000 milestone.

The Dow DJIA, +0.18% gained 25 points, or 0.1%, to 19,906. The S&P 500 SPX, +0.36% climbed four points, or 0.2%, to 2,262. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.50% added 13 points, or 0.3%, to 5,447.

Analysts at Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMPH) from Hold to Sell in a research note to investors today. With a rating of Sell on the shares, Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has a 52-week high of $21.75. The one-year price target of $21.00 is above the opening price of $18.42, causing a number of other analysts to issue statements on the stock recently. Downgrades are more likely when analysts feel that the future prospects for the security have diminished from the original recommendation, often because of an important and crucial digression in the company’s operations, future vision or industry.

Shares of Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMPH) opened at $18.42 on Tuesday trading between $18.32 and $18.78, and last traded at $18.78, a spike of $0.28 or 0.02 over the previous closing price.

Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMPH) now has a market cap of 864.31M.

Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMPH) Average Daily Trading Volume

The stock’s average daily volume is 387,136 shares out of a total float 36,244,000 and some 29,051 shares traded hands yesterday, lower than the average. lower than normal. Look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days as investors often use increases in trading volume to identify heavy volume accumulation or distribution by institutional investors.

As with all potential breakouts, investors look for volume to be at least 40%-50% higher than normal on the breakout to show 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.

Professional investors such as these retain substantial teams of analysts that research thousands of stocks, so it is good validation to see them buying a stock you’re considering.

Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMPH) 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 tracking the activity of these professional investors—and the moving averages they affect—it allows for traders to make more effective decisions on trades.

With that in mind, Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMPH) now has a 50-day MA of $20.10 and 200-day MA of $18.59. It has traded in a 52-week range between $10.50 – 21.75 and today’s last price is 0.14% lower than the 52 week high of $21.75.

Indeed, earnings growth is among the most critical things to look at in regards to stock investing and, accordingly, investors seek companies that have been successful at growing their earnings at least 25% or more over 3 consecutive years.

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