Analysts' Forecasts and Brokerage-Firm Trading
Posted: 17 Oct 2003
Using unique data on brokerage-firm trading, I examine whether analysts' earnings forecasts and stock recommendations affect their brokerage firms' share of trading in the forecast stocks. I find that individual analyst's forecasts that differ from the consensus forecast generate significant brokerage-firm trading in the forecast stocks in the two weeks after the forecast release date, affirming that analysts' forecasts affect their brokers' commission revenue. However, I find no evidence that analysts' forecast errors - the difference between forecast earnings and actual earnings - increase brokerage-firm trading. This result suggests that analysts cannot generate trade for their employers simply by adding error to their forecasts. I find that buy recommendations generate relatively more trading, both buying and selling, through the analyst's brokerage firm. Collectively, these results suggest that analysts can generate higher trading commissions through their positive stock recommendations than by biasing their forecasts.
Keywords: earnings forecasts, trading incentives, brokerage-firm trading
JEL Classification: G14, G24, G29, M41
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