Investors might be trying to gauge which way shares of Scientific Games Corp (NASDAQ:SGMS) will swing over the next couple of quarters. In recent trading activity, the stock has been seen near the $23.55 level. Many investors pay increased attention to shares when they are nearing notable historical highs or lows. Over the past 52 weeks, the stock has touched a high price of 29.79, and seen a low price of 15.13. Looking at some additional historical stock price information, we note that shares have seen a move 13.38% over the previous 12 weeks. If we pull in closer to look at performance over the past month, we see that shares have seen a change of 11.11%. Over the last 5 trading sessions, the stock has moved 1.29%. Investors will most likely be keeping their eyes peeled to see how the stock performs heading into the next round of earnings reports.

Investing in the stock market has traditionally offered higher returns than other types of investments. With the higher potential for returns, there is also a higher risk factor. Investors typically need to address their own personal risk situation before jumping into the market. Figuring out risk appetite can help when choosing which types of stocks to buy. Some investors will decide that they want to take a chance on certain stocks that have the potential to outperform in the future. Other investors may opt to play it safe and build a portfolio with low risk, staple stocks. 

Following some earnings data for Scientific Games Corp (NASDAQ:SGMS), we note that the current quarter EPS consensus estimate is 0.18. This EPS estimate is using data provided by 5 sell-side analysts polled by Zacks Research. This consensus estimate may vary from other data outlets providing consensus projections. Last quarter, the company reported a quarterly EPS of -0.09. Investors often pay extra close to the actual numbers when they are reported. If the actual comes in way under what the analysts were predicting, investors might want to take a deeper look to see what is going on with the stock. Investors may also be on the lookout for positive surprises on earnings beats. When a company reports actual earnings results, the surprise factor may cause the stock price to move sharply in either direction. Because it is difficult to gauge how a stock will react after the earnings report, investors may trade with increased caution during this period of time.

Investors tracking shares of Scientific Games Corp (NASDAQ:SGMS) may be closely following analyst price target estimates. Reviewing company shares, we can see that the current average target price is 25.29. Keeping track of all the day to day stock market happenings can sometimes be a burden, even for the most seasoned investors. Investors may use sell-side analyst target estimates to help figure out if their assumptions about the future direction of a particular stock price are shared. Of course, nobody can project the future stock price of a company with exact precision. Investors may use analyst target prices as a good starting point for comparing current stock prices and making educated projections themselves.

Investors who are new to picking stocks may find themselves tempted to buy shares that have been recently rising the most. Although the traditional advice is to buy low and sell high, novice investors often do just the opposite. Buying a particular stock just because it has been rising recently may end up leaving the investor shaking their head down the road. Expecting that a stock will continue to ride the wave higher can lead to disappointment when momentum suddenly shifts. Studying the fundamentals of a certain company can help the investor gauge if the stock is a worthy buy at current levels.

After a recent stock review, we can see that Scientific Games Corp (NASDAQ:SGMS) currently has an average broker rating of 2.14. Based on analysts polled by Zacks Research, this rating lands on an easy to follow scale from 1 to 5 where a 1 would indicate a Strong Buy and a 5 would represent a Strong Sell recommendation. Sell-side analysts often provide recommendations for stocks that they regularly cover. Different institutions may use various terminologies for how they describe their ratings. Because individual analyst ratings can vary, investors may choose to follow the average in order to track the general sell-side sentiment. Looking a little further, we can see that 3 polled analysts currently have the stock rated as a Strong Buy or Buy.

When examining current stock market levels, investors who have been staying on the sidelines may be wondering if now is a good time to get back into the ring. Nobody can say for sure if momentum will continue to push to the upside, and investors may be overly cautious at this stage. Studying company financials and paying attention to pertinent economic data can help the investor make more educated decisions when it comes to the stock market. It is obviously very hard for a new investor to become highly successful in the stock market right out of the gate. Doing all the homework and dedicating the proper amount of time can help the investor get on the right track to accumulating profits down the road.

As we move closer to the close of the year, investors will be closely watching the next round of company earnings results. Investors may choose to closely follow Wall Street analyst projections around earnings periods. Analysts will typically make adjustments to estimates as the earnings date approaches. Many investors will look to see which way the estimate revisions are trending heading into the earnings report. Once the release is published, analysts have the ability to make further updates based on actual information that the company provides.  

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.