To buy or not to buy? The value of contradictory analyst signals
Soenke Sievers and
Stefan Kanne Additional contact information Jan Klobucnik: CGS, University of Cologne
Daniel Kreutzmann: University of Cologne
Soenke Sievers: University of Cologne
Stefan Kanne: University of Cologne
We study the predictive ability of individual analyst target price changes for post-event abnormal stock returns within each recommendation category. Although prior studies generally demonstrate the investment value of target prices, we find that target price changes do not cause abnormal returns within each recommendation level. Instead, contradictory analyst signals (e.g., strong buy reiterations with large target price decreases) neutralize each other, whereas confirmatory signals reinforce each other. Further, our analysis reveals that large target price downgrades can be explained by preceding stock price decreases. However, upgrades are not preceded by stock price increases. Our results suggest that investors should treat recommendations with caution when they are issued with large contradictory target price changes. Thus, instead of blindly following a recommendation, investors might put more weight on the change in the corresponding target price.