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 Compass Minerals International, Inc. (NYSE:CMP) is currently 1.86. 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.

As we sail into the second half of the calendar year, investors may be looking to see what has gone right and what has gone wrong so far this year. Making necessary changes to some holdings may help position investors for the next couple of quarters. Being able to cut the riskier losers and take some profits from winners may help solidify the stock portfolio. As we run through the next round of company earnings reports, investors will be keeping a close eye on the data that is reported. Investors may be looking to buy companies that continue to post beats on the earnings front, and cut ties with ones that are not hitting their marks.

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 $61.5 on shares of Compass Minerals International, Inc. (NYSE:CMP). 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 Compass Minerals International, Inc. (NYSE:CMP), we can see that the most recent level is sitting at 1.74. This EPS projection uses 3 Sell-Side analysts polled by Zacks Research. For the previous reported quarter, the company posted a quarterly EPS of 0.37. 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 Compass Minerals International, Inc. (NYSE:CMP), we note that shares are trading near the 48.68 level. Investors will often follow stock price levels in relation to the 52-week high and low levels. The 52-week high is presently 75.65, and the 52-week low is sitting at 45.9. 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 -22.17%. Heading further back to the start of the year, we note that shares have seen a change of -32.62%. Focusing in closer to the last 4 weeks, shares have seen a change of -8.01%. Over the past five trading days, the stock has changed 1%.

There are many factors at play when looking to successfully conquer the stock market. New investors have the tendency to become overwhelmed at the prospect of putting their hard earned money to work. If the individual investor decides that they are going to be managing their own money, they may be looking for a proper place to start. Investors might want to start by clearly defining their own goals. Creating realistic and attainable goals can help get the investor walking down the right path. As many experienced investors know, setting goals and staying on track can be a big help for navigating the markets.

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.