This video discusses the role of analysts in financial markets. Analysts serve as financial intermediaries, which means they examine the disclosures made by firms and issue a report summarizing their findings. Analysts closely scrutinize company’s financial statements, ask company executives questions during conference calls, and may even visit the company before preparing their reports and issuing recommendations. Other market participants rely on the reports and recommendations made by analysts to make investing and lending decisions.

There are two types of analysts: sell-side analysts and buy-side analysts. While both types of analysts perform the activities mentioned above, there are some important differences. Sell-side analysts typically work for a brokerage firm or an investment bank. They forecast a company’s earnings per share, issue a price target for the stock, and provide buy/sell/hold recommendations in the hope that investors would find the information useful and choose to do business with their investment bank or brokerage firm. Buy-side analysts, on the other hand, typically work for a pension fund, charitable foundation, or other large investor. The buy-side analyst’s job is to identify attractive investment opportunities for their employer.