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 Grand Canyon Education, Inc. (NASDAQ:LOPE) is currently 1. 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 4 sell-side analysts have rated the stock a Strong Buy or Buy, based analysts polled by Zacks Research.

Even for seasoned investors, it can be natural to become wary when certain stocks are tanking in the stock portfolio. The knee jerk reaction can be to immediately change up the portfolio mix to help rectify the situation. Sometimes changes may need to be made, but often times, resisting the urge to make changes based on temporary downturns may prove to help the longer-term health of the stock portfolio. Investors may find themselves in the same predicament when markets are heading higher and every stock seems to be a winner. The impulse might be to double down and buy even more shares of a name that has been over performing recently. Once again, sometimes this may work out, but there will also be times when stocks have finished the run and adding to the position may end up nullifying previous gains if momentum swings back the other way.

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 $137.5 on shares of Grand Canyon Education, Inc. (NASDAQ:LOPE). 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 Grand Canyon Education, Inc. (NASDAQ:LOPE), we can see that the most recent level is sitting at 1.11. This EPS projection uses 3 Sell-Side analysts polled by Zacks Research. For the previous reported quarter, the company posted a quarterly EPS of 1.62. 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 Grand Canyon Education, Inc. (NASDAQ:LOPE), we note that shares are trading near the 116.46 level. Investors will often follow stock price levels in relation to the 52-week high and low levels. The 52-week high is presently 129.67, and the 52-week low is sitting at 90.83. 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 -3.46%. Heading further back to the start of the year, we note that shares have seen a change of 21.14%. Focusing in closer to the last 4 weeks, shares have seen a change of -5.9%. Over the past five trading days, the stock has changed -1.71%.

Sharp investors typically realize that stock returns can fluctuate, and the periods of extreme ups and downs can sometimes be quite long. It can be very difficult to predict when a big market downturn will occur. However, investors who have a plan in place will often find themselves in a better position than those who do not. Investors following an individual plan can include some preparation for the unknown. The plan may involve specific criteria, and it may be uniquely tailored to suit the individual’s goals. When markets get choppy, it can be tempting for the individual investor to go into survival mode. Some of the best stock buying opportunities will present themselves during a lengthy period of decline. Being ready to pounce on these opportunities might end up being a huge benefit to the investor when the time comes.