Some observations from the field based on my recent experience:

1) An analyst's ranking has everything to do with seniority and how well he knows a business or company, nothing to do with how well his recommendations have been doing.

2) The story you have to tell is more important than anything else. If you have a great buy without a story, forget about it.

3) Many investors seem to be looking for a 'trigger' or 'catalyst' that will re-value a company.

A quantitative study of stocks with a 'catalyst' or 'trigger' maybe could be done by counting how many times these words appear in analysts' research for a particular stock, to see if these stocks over- or underperformed. Wouldn't be surprised if stocks where investors have high hopes for a trigger (such as new regulation, spin-off or announcement of buyback) will have underperformed. I personally like stocks without any kind of triggers.


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