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Are the Wall Street Analyst Rankings Popularity Contests?

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  • Emery, Douglas R.
  • Li, Xi

Abstract

We investigate the (sell-side) analyst rankings of Institutional Investor (I/I) and The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), using data from 1993–2005. We find that factors with a primary component of recognition are the most important determinants of the rankings, although performance measures are statistically significant determinants in some cases. The single exception to this finding is with existing WSJ stars, where industry-adjusted investment-recommendation performance is the only significant determinant of repeating as a star. Further, in the year after becoming stars, the recommendations of WSJ stars are significantly worse than those of nonstars; and the recommendations and earnings forecasts of I/I stars, as well as the earnings forecasts of WSJ stars, are not significantly different from those of nonstars. We conclude that these rankings are largely “popularity contests.”

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  • Emery, Douglas R. & Li, Xi, 2009. "Are the Wall Street Analyst Rankings Popularity Contests?," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(02), pages 411-437, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jfinqa:v:44:y:2009:i:02:p:411-437_09
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    Cited by:

    1. Brown, Lawrence D. & Call, Andrew C. & Clement, Michael B. & Sharp, Nathan Y., 2016. "The activities of buy-side analysts and the determinants of their stock recommendations," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 139-156.
    2. Roger, Tristan, 2017. "Reporting errors in the I/B/E/S earnings forecast database: J. Doe vs. J. Doe," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 170-176.
    3. Tristan Roger, 2015. "Earnings Forecast Accuracy And Career Concerns," Post-Print hal-01483837, HAL.
    4. AltInkIlIç, Oya & Hansen, Robert S., 2009. "On the information role of stock recommendation revisions," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 17-36, October.
    5. Johnston, Rick & Leone, Andrew J. & Ramnath, Sundaresh & Yang, Ya-wen, 2012. "14-Week quarters," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 271-289.
    6. Anolli, Mario & Beccalli, Elena & Molyneux, Philip, 2014. "Bank earnings forecasts, risk and the crisis," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 309-335.
    7. Lily Fang & Ayako Yasuda, 2014. "Are Stars’ Opinions Worth More? The Relation Between Analyst Reputation and Recommendation Values," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 46(3), pages 235-269, December.
    8. repec:dau:papers:123456789/15217 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:kap:jfsres:v:52:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10693-016-0258-x is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Hobbs, Jeffrey & Kovacs, Tunde & Sharma, Vivek, 2012. "The investment value of the frequency of analyst recommendation changes for the ordinary investor," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, pages 94-108.
    11. Athanasakou, Vasiliki & Simpson, Ana, 2016. "Investor attention to rounding as a salient forecast feature," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 1212-1233.
    12. Artur Aiguzhinov & Ana Paula Serra & Carlos Soares, 2016. "Are rankings of financial analysts useful to investors?," CEF.UP Working Papers 1604, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    13. Kucheev, Yury O. & Ruiz, Felipe & Sorensson, Tomas, 2015. "Star sell-side analysts listed by Institutional Investor, The Wall Street Journal and StarMine. Whose recommendations are most profitable?," INDEK Working Paper Series 2015/11, Department of Industrial Economics and Management, Royal Institute of Technology.

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