We examine the long-term stock performance of analyst recommendations and the properties of accompanied earnings forecasts for initiations and non-initiations to evaluate the reporting, selection, and processing explanations for analyst optimism. We find that Strong Buy and, to a lesser degree, Buy initiation recommendations underperform their non-initiation counterparts after controlling for analyst, brokerage, and firm characteristics associated with the initiation decision and expected long-term stock returns. Yet, earnings forecasts accompanying Strong Buy and Buy initiation recommendations are less optimistic and more accurate than those accompanying non-initiation recommendations. Our findings suggest that conflicts of interest (that is, the reporting explanation) are the dominant source for favorable recommendations.
Review of Accounting Studies – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 16, 2011
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