Analysts often provide buy/sell/hold recommendations for companies that they cover. Investors have the ability to follow these sell-side ratings in order to assist with stock analysis. Wall Street analyst ratings may have various interpretations. According to analysts taken into consideration by Zacks Research, the current average broker recommendation on shares of Suburban Propane Partners, L.P. (NYSE:SPH) is currently 3.25. This rating lands on a scale between 1 and 5. Following this scale, a rating of 1 would indicate a Strong Buy, and a rating of 5 would indicate a Strong Sell recommendation. Out of all the analysts providing ratings, 1 have rated the stock a Strong Buy or Buy, according to Zacks Research. 

With most types of investments, there is typically some level of risk. This is no different when dealing with the stock market. Investors have to decide how much risk is acceptable and plan accordingly. Many new stock market investors face the challenge of deciding where to begin. Following strategies that have proven to work in the past may be one way to go. Many investors will look to mimic the strategies of the most celebrated investors. Although this may be a good way to start, it may be necessary to fully understand every aspect that those successful investors examine. Blindly following trading plans without doing the proper research can lead to future trouble down the line if there is indeed a market shake-up.

Taking a quick look at the current quarter EPS consensus estimate for Suburban Propane Partners, L.P. (NYSE:SPH), we can see that the most recent level is sitting at 1.88. This EPS projection uses 2 Sell-Side analysts polled by Zacks Research. For the previous reported quarter, the company posted a quarterly EPS of -0.83. 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 Suburban Propane Partners, L.P. (NYSE:SPH), we note that shares are trading near the 21.5 level. Investors will often follow stock price levels in relation to the 52-week high and low levels. The 52-week high is presently 25.92, and the 52-week low is sitting at 19.03. 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 -9.32%. Heading further back to the start of the year, we note that shares have seen a change of 11.57%. Focusing in closer to the last 4 weeks, shares have seen a change of 0.99%. Over the past five trading days, the stock has changed 10.65%.

One of the biggest downfalls of the individual investor is not being able to take losses when it becomes necessary. Of course nobody wants to take a loss, but the repercussions of not letting go of a losing stock can end up sealing the demise of the well-intentioned investor. Many professionals would probably agree that the pain of realizing a loss is more intense than the joy of picking a winner. Investors who become reluctant to sell losers may be delaying the inevitable and essentially suffocating the portfolio. Not addressing the losing side can have severe negative effects on the long-term health of the portfolio. Investors may have to find a way to face the music and sell when they realize that a trade has gone sour.

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