| HBS Working Paper Series
The Stock Selection and Performance of Buy-Side Analysts
We examine the selection and performance of stocks recommended by analysts at a large investment firm relative to those of sell-side analysts during the period mid-1997 and 2004. The buy-side firm's analysts issued less optimistic recommendations for stocks with larger market capitalizations and lower return volatility than their sell-side peers, consistent with their facing fewer conflicts of interest and having a preference for liquid stocks. Tests with no controls for these effects indicated that annualized buy-side Strong Buy/Buy recommendations underperformed those for sell-side peers by 5.9% using market-adjusted returns and by 3.8% using four-factor model abnormal returns. However, these findings were driven primarily by differences in the market capitalization of the stocks recommended. After controlling for this size effect, we find no difference in the performance of the buy- and sell-side analysts' Strong Buy/Buy recommendations.
Conflict of Interests;
Financial Services Industry;