Sell-side analysts often undertake stock analysis to give their opinions of whether they believe that shares should be bought, sold, or held. Using ratings provided by analysts to Zacks Research, we can see that the current average broker rating on shares of Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) is currently 1.19. This consensus rating uses a number scale from 1 to 5. A low number between 1 and 2 indicates a Buy or Strong Buy.  A 3 rating would represent a Hold, while a 4 or 5 indicates a Sell rating. After a recent check, we can see that 28 sell-side analysts have rated the stock a Strong Buy or Buy, based analysts polled by Zacks Research.

When it comes to trading stocks, even veteran investors are prone to making mistakes. Investors will often get bombarded with stock tips touting the next breakout star. Following these tips without fully looking into the situation can wind up being a huge mistake. If even one person knows about the next big stock, chances are many other people already do as well. Getting in too late on a stock that has already made a move can leave investors wondering what went wrong. Taking the time to properly research any stock investment may be a good way to eliminate costly impulse buys. Just because a stock has been running hot doesn’t mean it will continue to go higher in the future.

Sell-side Wall Street analysts will commonly offer stock price target estimates. Many investors pay close attention to where the analysts project the stock moving in the future. After a recent scan, we can see that analysts polled by Zacks Research have set a consensus price target of $217.61 on shares of Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB). Price target estimates can be calculated using various methods, and they may be quite different depending on the individual analyst. A fully researched analyst report will generally provide detailed reasoning for a specific target price prediction. Some investors may track analyst targets very closely and use the information to complement their own stock research.

Taking a quick look at the current quarter EPS consensus estimate for Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB), we can see that the most recent level is sitting at 1.72. This EPS projection uses 14 Sell-Side analysts polled by Zacks Research. For the previous reported quarter, the company posted a quarterly EPS of 1.69. 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 Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB), we note that shares are trading near the 183.76 level. Investors will often follow stock price levels in relation to the 52-week high and low levels. The 52-week high is presently 193.09, and the 52-week low is sitting at 144.85. 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 2.66%. Heading further back to the start of the year, we note that shares have seen a change of 4.14%. Focusing in closer to the last 4 weeks, shares have seen a change of 9.32%. Over the past five trading days, the stock has changed -0.95%.

Receive News & Ratings Via Email - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.