Performant Financial Corp. (PFMT) Shares Tick Up after Upgrade at Zacks Investment Research

Performant Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: PFMT) shares rose in value on Friday January 20 on lighter 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 Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Performant Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: PFMT) from Hold to Buy today. With a rating of Buy on the stock, Performant Financial Corp. has a 52-week high of $4.07. The one-year price target of $3.00 is higher than the opening price of $2.20, that has caused a fair amount of other analysts to report on the company recently. Share prices sometimes get a boost to the upside when analysts upgrade a stock.

Yesterday Performant Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: PFMT) shares last traded at $2.20, which is a jump of $0.06 over the previous closing price. Opening at $2.20, they ranged from $2.20 and $2.20 throughout the day.

Performant Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: PFMT) currently has a market cap of 110.50M.

Performant Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: PFMT) Average Daily Trading Volume

115 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, 115 percent lower than the norm, out of a total float 26,388,000. lower than normal. Look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days as momentum traders often use increases in trading volume to identify heavy volume accumulation or distribution by institutional investors.

However, a single day of heavy buy side trading is not enough to assert a trend. As such, market traders will continue to watch for institutional sponsorship as a signal that financial institutions are moving forward.

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

Institutional investors such as these retain substantial teams of analysts researching thousands of stocks. Thus, watching their interests is a good way to ensure you are buying the right stocks.

Performant Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: PFMT) 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 spotting trends, moving averages allow traders to make those trends work in their favor and increase the number of winning trades.

Trades for Performant Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: PFMT) have ranged from $1.51 – 4.07, and the stock now has a 50-day MA of $2.51 and 200-day MA of $2.67. Today’s last price is 45.95%% under the 52 week high of $4.07.

Earnings growth is a crucial factor to look at when buying stocks and investors seek companies that have increased their earnings by at least 25% over 3 consecutive years.

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