Analysts often provide buy/sell/hold recommendations for companies that they cover. Investors have the ability to follow these sell-side ratings in order to assist with stock analysis. Wall Street analyst ratings may have various interpretations. According to analysts taken into consideration by Zacks Research, the current average broker recommendation on shares of Medidata Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ:MDSO) is currently 1.85. This rating lands on a scale between 1 and 5. Following this scale, a rating of 1 would indicate a Strong Buy, and a rating of 5 would indicate a Strong Sell recommendation. Out of all the analysts providing ratings, 7 have rated the stock a Strong Buy or Buy, according to Zacks Research.
Active traders are often looking for the next great move to secure profits in the stock market. Traders might be tracking stocks that are primed for a breakout. When a stock suddenly breaks to the upside, it has the potential to bring the optimistic crowd along with it. The breakout may bring in traders who missed out on the beginning of a run trying to capitalize on the back end. The professional trader is typically one who is able to stand out from the crowd. Being able to separate fantasy from reality can mean big profits for the dedicated trader. Impulse buying or selling on good or bad news is common in the stock market. Being able to come to a reasonable conclusion about why stock prices are headed one way and not the other can be a tough proposition. Paying attention to all the headlines may lead some traders down the path of no return if trades are being made strictly on daily news or even perception or that news. Discerning between what is actually driving a stock and what is perceived to be driving a stock may end up being a large factor between future gains and losses in the equity market.
Taking a quick look at the current quarter EPS consensus estimate for Medidata Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ:MDSO), we can see that the most recent level is sitting at 0.31. This EPS projection uses 8 Sell-Side analysts polled by Zacks Research. For the previous reported quarter, the company posted a quarterly EPS of 0.33. Covering analysts have the tough job of following companies and offering future estimates. These estimates are often closely followed on the Street, and earnings beats or misses revolve around these projections. Sometimes these predictions are extremely close to the actual reported number, and other times they may be way off. When a company posts actual earnings numbers, the surprise factor can lead to sudden stock price fluctuations. If a company meets and beats estimates and posts a positive earnings surprise, the stock may see a near-term bump. On the other end, a negative surprise may send the stock in the opposite direction. Many investors will choose to trade with caution around earnings releases and wait to make a move until after the major activity has subsided.
Zooming in on recent stock price action for Medidata Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ:MDSO), we note that shares are trading near the 70.15 level. Investors will often follow stock price levels in relation to the 52-week high and low levels. The 52-week high is presently 81.87, and the 52-week low is sitting at 48. When a stock price is getting close to either the 52-week high or 52-week low, investors may track activity to watch for a move past the established mark. Over the last 12 weeks, shares have seen a change of -6.42%. Heading further back to the start of the year, we note that shares have seen a change of 41.23%. Focusing in closer to the last 4 weeks, shares have seen a change of -6.88%. Over the past five trading days, the stock has changed 0.95%.