Institutional Holdings and Analysts' Stock Recommendations
Posted: 26 Oct 2006 Last revised: 5 Mar 2014
Prior studies document that institutional investors outperform the market. We investigate whether this superior performance is partly derived from institutional investors' use of sell-side analysts' stock recommendations. First, we find that the quarterly change in institutional ownership is positively correlated with consensus recommendations. After controlling for other determinants of institutional holdings, the quarterly change in institutional ownership is on average 0.90% higher for firms with favorable recommendations than for those with unfavorable recommendations. Second, using large trades to proxy for institutional trading, we find that there are more buyer-initiated than seller-initiated large trades around favorable recommendations and vice versa for unfavorable recommendations. Lastly, we find that the change in institutional ownership that is explained by stock recommendations is associated with positive abnormal returns in the future, about 4.2% per year. Overall, these results indicate that institutional investors trade upon stock recommendations and such trading contributes to their superior performance.
Keywords: Financial analysts, institutional trading, stock recommendations
JEL Classification: G11, G14, G29, G23, M41
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