Investor Watch – Shares Attracting Attention: Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE:COF)

Sell-side equity analysts are typically working super hard to create realistic target prices for stocks that they cover. After a recent market scan, we can see that Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE:COF) has a current average target price of 106.29. These analysts may have different ways that they arrive at a target price. Because target prices are estimates where analysts feel that the stock may be heading, there are obviously no guarantees that the stock price will actually end up there. Investors have the ability to track analyst targets, and they may decide that a specific analyst is right or wrong. Some investors may choose to do their own analysis and see how it compares to what the professionals are thinking. Investors may also have the ability to study the numbers and look at how accurate certain analysts have been with projections in the past. If a specific analyst has a good track record, investors may choose to pay more attention to the target. Because analysts use various methods for creating these estimates, there may be a very wide range of estimates given for a particular stock.

The stock market can be an exciting yet scary place for investors who are just starting out. Individual investors who decide to manage their own portfolios may need to hit the books and be ready to take a comprehensive approach. There is no lack of information about investing in the stock market, but figuring out where to start can be difficult. Setting up goals and defining the investment plan can help start the investor down the right path. As many seasoned investors know, there can be times when nothing seems to be going right. Keeping a clear head and focusing on the relevant information can help the investor stay steady when the going gets tough.                                                           

Following recent trading activity on shares of Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE:COF), we can see that the stock has been hovering near the 82.97 price level. Shareholders might be asking themselves whether now is a good time to buy or sell the stock. Over the previous 12 weeks, the stock has moved 1.98%. Looking back over the last month, shares have moved 2.61%. Over the previous week, the stock has changed 2.56%. Investors may also be watching the current price in relation to the 52-week highs/lows. After a recent scan, we note that the 52-week high is presently 100.9, and the 52-week low is 70.78.

Investors have the ability to follow Wall Street analyst views when conducting stock research. Sell-side analysts often put in a lot of time trying to evaluate the inner workings of a company. They may dig through the financials, conduct interviews, and pay keen attention to conference calls in order to compile data for the research report. Many analysts will offer buy, sell, or hold recommendations for stocks they cover. Checking on shares of Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE:COF), we see that the current average broker rating is 1.67. This average rating falls on a scale from 1 to 5 where a 1 would indicate a Strong Buy. On the flip side, a 5 rating would signify a Strong Sell. Based on data provided by Zacks, there are currently 10 polled analysts rating the stock a Strong Buy or Buy. Investors often have to decide whether they are in agreement with how the analysts perceive the future prospects of a specific stock.

Investors may be sizing up shares of Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE:COF). After a recent check, we see that the current quarter EPS consensus estimate provided by Zacks is standing at 2.7. This EPS estimate is comprised of 9 sell-side analysts polled by Zacks. For the last reporting period, the company posted a quarterly EPS of 1.87. Analysts and investors will be closely studying the next round of company earnings reports. Consistent success on the earnings front may point to the company moving in the right direction. On the flip side, a company that has strung together a few bad quarters may ring the warning bells for interested investors.

One of the most important factors that investors look at when examining stocks is the consistency of earnings results. When the quarterly earnings report is released, investors watch closely to see if the company is performing up to expectations. A company that fails to meet projections may see large price swings following the report. Of course one bad quarter may not signal trouble, but a company that continually disappoints during earnings season may need to be further examined to help figure out what is going on. Experienced investors will closely watch stock price movements before and after earnings events in order to gain a truer understanding of how the market is reacting to the reports.

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