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To buy or not to buy? The value of contradictory analyst signals

  • Stefan Kanne

    ()

  • Jan Klobucnik

    ()

  • Daniel Kreutzmann

    ()

  • Soenke Sievers

    ()

We study the predictive ability of individual analyst target price changes for post-event abnormal stock returns within each recommendation category. Although prior studies generally demonstrate the investment value of target prices, we find that target price changes do not cause abnormal returns within each recommendation level. Instead, contradictory analyst signals (e.g., strong buy reiterations with large target price decreases) neutralize each other, whereas confirmatory signals reinforce each other. Further, our analysis reveals that large target price downgrades can be explained by preceding stock price decreases. However, upgrades are not preceded by stock price increases, thereby demonstrating asymmetric analyst behavior when adjusting target prices to stock prices. Our results suggest that investors should treat recommendations with caution when they are issued with large contradictory target price changes. Thus, instead of blindly following a recommendation, investors might put more weight on the change in the corresponding target price and consider transaction costs. Copyright Swiss Society for Financial Market Research 2012

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11408-012-0196-z
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Article provided by Springer & Swiss Society for Financial Market Research in its journal Financial Markets and Portfolio Management.

Volume (Year): 26 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 405-428

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Handle: RePEc:kap:fmktpm:v:26:y:2012:i:4:p:405-428
DOI: 10.1007/s11408-012-0196-z
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