Abraxas Petroleum Corp. (AXAS) Shares Active after Upgrade at Stifel Nicolaus

Abraxas Petroleum Corp. (NASDAQ: AXAS) shares slid back in value on Friday January 20 on heavier trade volume than normal after a number of analysts weighed in on the investing value of the stock with a upgraded rating.

Meanwhile, U.S. stocks rose Friday morning as Wall Street closely awaited Donald Trump’s inauguration as the nation’s 45th president.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.41% rose 95 points, or 0.5%, to 19,826, while the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.41% climbed 11 points, or 0.5%, to 2,275 and the Nasdaq Composite COMP, +0.37% added 28 points, or 0.6%, to 5,571.

Analysts at Stifel Nicolaus upgraded shares of Abraxas Petroleum Corp. (NASDAQ: AXAS) from Hold to Buy today. The company currently has a rating of Buy on the shares. A number of other analysts have spoken on the company in recent days, and Abraxas Petroleum Corp. has earned a consensus one-year price target of $2.69, above the opening price of $2.60. Abraxas Petroleum Corp. stock has a 52-week high of $2.99. Share prices often trend to the upside on recommendations and new price targets of professional analysts.

Shares of Abraxas Petroleum Corp. (NASDAQ: AXAS) opened at $2.60 yesterday trading between $2.57 and $2.65, and last traded at $2.60, a decrease of $0.09 over the previous closing price.

Abraxas Petroleum Corp. (NASDAQ: AXAS) now has a market cap of 347.32M.

Abraxas Petroleum Corp. (NASDAQ: AXAS) Average Daily Trading Volume

9,942,968 shares traded hands yesterday, 21 percent above the average, out of a total float 124,097,000. higher than normal. Significant increases in trading volume and price appreciation together could signal heavy volume accumulation by institutional investors.

While increased 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 sends a positive signal to market traders that institutions may be moving in, so institutional sponsorship is very important.

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

These professional investors retain substantial teams of analysts researching thousands of stocks, so it is good validation to see them taking a postion in a stock you are considering.

Abraxas Petroleum Corp. (NASDAQ: AXAS) 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, Abraxas Petroleum Corp. (NASDAQ: AXAS) now has a 50-day MA of $2.54 and 200-day MA of $1.76. It has traded in a 52-week range between $0.76 – 2.99 and today’s last price is 13.04%% lower than the 52 week high of $2.99.

Earnings growth is a crucial factor to consider when buying stocks and investors watch for companies that have increased their earnings by at least 25% over the past 3 years.

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