A financial analyst tracks the performance of a number of companies or industries, evaluates their potential value as investments, and makes recommendations to buy, sell, or hold specific securities. When the most highly respected analysts express a strong opinion about a stock, there is often an immediate impact on that stock’s price as investors rush to follow the advice.
Some analysts work for financial institutions, such as mutual fund companies, brokerage firms, and banks. Others work for analytical services, such as Value Line, Inc., Morningstar, Inc., Standard & Poor’s, or Moody’s Investors Service, or as independent evaluators. Zacks (www.zacks.com) and First Call (www.firstcall.com) make reports from hundreds of different analysts available on their websites, and analysts’ commentaries appear regularly in the financial press, and on radio, television, and the Internet.