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Prophets and Losses: Reassessing the Returns to Analysts' Stock Recommendations

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Author Info

  • Barber, Brad

    (U of California, Davis)

  • Lehavy, Reuven

    (U of California, Berkeley)

  • Trueman, Brett

    (Stanford U)

  • McNichols, Maureen

    (U of California, Berkeley)

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    Abstract

    After a string of years in which security analysts' top stock picks significantly outperformed their plans, the year 2000 was a disaster. During that year the stocks least favorably recommended by analysts earned an annualized market-adjusted return of 48.66 percent while the stocks most highly recommended fell 31.20 percent, a return difference of almost 80 percentage points. This pattern prevailed during most months of 2000, regardless of whether the market was rising or falling, and was observed for both tech and non-tech stocks. While we cannot conclude that the 2000 results are necessarily driven by an increased emphasis on investment banking by analysts, our findings should add to the debate over the usefulness of analysts' stock recommendations to investors. They should also serve to alert researchers to the possibility that excluding the year 2000 from their sample period could have a significant impact on any conclusions they draw concerning analysts' stock recommendations.

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    File URL: http://gsbapps.stanford.edu/researchpapers/library/RP1692.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Stanford University, Graduate School of Business in its series Research Papers with number 1692.

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    Date of creation: May 2001
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ecl:stabus:1692

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    1. Barber, Brad M. & Lyon, John D., 1997. "Detecting long-run abnormal stock returns: The empirical power and specification of test statistics," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 341-372, March.
    2. Carhart, Mark M, 1997. " On Persistence in Mutual Fund Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 57-82, March.
    3. Dimson, Elroy & Marsh, Paul R, 1984. " An Analysis of Brokers' and Analysts' Unpublished Forecasts of UK Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(5), pages 1257-92, December.
    4. Copeland, Thomas E. & Mayers, David, 1982. "The value line enigma (1965-1978) : A case study of performance evaluation issues," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 289-321, November.
    5. Blume, Marshall E. & Stambaugh, Robert F., 1983. "Biases in computed returns : An application to the size effect," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 387-404, November.
    6. Linda Canina & Roni Michaely & Richard Thaler & Kent Womack, 1998. "Caveat Compounder: A Warning about Using the Daily CRSP Equal-Weighted Index to Compute Long-Run Excess Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(1), pages 403-416, 02.
    7. Barber, Brad M. & Loeffler, Douglas, 1993. "The “Dartboard” Column: Second-Hand Information and Price Pressure," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 28(02), pages 273-284, June.
    8. Michaely, Roni & Womack, Kent L, 1999. "Conflict of Interest and the Credibility of Underwriter Analyst Recommendations," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 12(4), pages 653-86.
    9. Lin, Hsiou-wei & McNichols, Maureen F., 1998. "Underwriting relationships, analysts' earnings forecasts and investment recommendations," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 101-127, February.
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