When conducting stock research, investors may want to take a look at what the covering analysts are saying about the company. Zacks Research provides an average broker rating which is compiled using polled sell-side analysts.  After a recent scan, we can see that the current ABR for Viking Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VKTX) is 1.25. Research firms may use various terminologies to describe their stock recommendations. This particular rating falls on a numerical scale from 1 to 5. A 1 rating would point to a Strong Buy, and a score of 5 would indicate a Strong Sell rating. The average broker rating helps investors by offering a general feel for sell-side sentiment on company shares. We have also noted that 7 analysts currently have the stock rated as a Buy or Strong Buy.

Investors will be paying extra close attention to company earnings reports during this current season. With stocks bordering on all-time highs, any substantial earnings beats may propel stocks to even greater heights. On the flip side, stocks that may be overvalued could see a significant correction if earnings disappoint. Every earnings season has its share of big winners and big losers. Trying to project the stocks that will post large beats for the quarter can be tricky. Even if the research points to a company handily beating on the earnings front, the stock may not always react as expected. Trading around earnings reports can get quite dicey for even the most seasoned investors. 

Viewing some popular support and resistance marks on shares of Viking Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VKTX), we can see that the 52-week high is presently $19.65, and the 52-week low is currently $3.88. When the stock is trading near the 52-week high or 52-week low, investors may be on the lookout for a potential break through the level. Looking at recent action, we can see that the stock has been trading near the $7.94 level. Investors may also want to track historical price activity. Over the past 12 weeks, the stock has changed -8.84%. Looking further back to the beginning of the calendar year, we note that shares have moved 3.79%. Over the previous 4 weeks, shares have seen a change of -2.1%. Over the last 5 trading sessions, the stock has moved -8.74%. Investors will be monitoring stock activity over the next few days to try and gauge which way the momentum is shifting.

Wall Street analysts tracking shares of Viking Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VKTX) have been closely monitor company activities and fundamentals. They often create research reports to assist with investment decisions. On a consensus basis, analysts have set a target price of $28.07 on the stock. This number may be different from the First Call consensus target estimate. Analysts that routinely cover the company may use different techniques in order to create a future target price. Because of the different methods, price targets may differ greatly from one analyst to another.

Shifting gears, we can see that the current quarter EPS consensus estimate for Viking Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VKTX) is -0.1. This EPS estimate is using 5 sell-side analysts polled by Zacks Research. For the prior reporting period, the company posted a quarterly EPS of -0.11. As we move through earnings season, all eyes will be on the company to see if they can beat analyst estimates and show improvement from the last quarter. When a company reports actual earnings numbers, the surprise factor can cause a stock price to realize increased activity. Investors and analysts will be closely watching to see how the earnings results impact the stock after the next release. Many investors will decide to be cautious around earnings releases and delay buy/sell moves until after the stock price has steadied.

Investors might be trying to figure out how to play the stock market at current levels. The optimist may see much more upward action in the future while the pessimist may be waiting for the impending disaster. Buying into the market at these levels will no doubt come with a bit of caution. Even at these levels, there may still be some good buys. The average individual investor may need to spend a little more time doing the homework, but it may pay off handsomely if the stock market decides to break out higher. As companies start to report quarterly earnings, investors will be watching to see what types of trends emerge. A generally upbeat earnings season may give the bulls more strength to breakout and continue the charge higher into the later stages of the year. 

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