Equity Research Report

These reports serve as comprehensive summaries that investors or company leaders may utilize to make informed decisions.

Elliot Meade

Reviewed by

Elliot Meade

Expertise: Private Equity | Investment Banking


September 6, 2023

What is an equity research report?

Sell-side companies create equity research to assist investors and hedge fund managers find market opportunities and make wise investment decisions.

Forward-thinking organizations increasingly recognize the importance of this expert analysis as a tool for strategic decision-making.

Many thousands of sell-side companies hire qualified analysts from around the world to produce market-relevant equities research. But unfortunately, most companies that do equities research are narrowly focused and employ just one or two analysts to write studies on a single sector.

Larger corporations, like Morgan Stanley and Bank of America, employ hundreds of analysts to prepare research on tens of thousands of publicly traded companies, covering everything from TMT behemoths to specialized goods.

Experts in their fields, equity research analysts are frequently former CEOs, seasoned professionals from their fields, or academics. These analysts provide in-depth analysis and produce reports on businesses, industries, and macrotrends, providing a subject matter expert's perspective.

Corporate teams now rely more on equities research as a valuable source of knowledge. These teams use this research to develop 

The significance of this for companies is found in the thorough coverage of the firm, the rivals, and how the company is doing concerning the market in which it operates.

Understanding the equity research report

A document made by an equity research analyst gives suggestions on how an investor should act upon a company that is being traded. This could include holding the share, selling it, or purchasing it.

An analyst outlines their recommendation, target price, investment thesis, value, and risks in an equities research report.

This comes in various formats, including

  1. Business Reports: A business report is a compilation of information and analysis that makes it simple for a company to acquire crucial data.
  2. Original Reports: A comprehensive business report is released when an analyst or firm begins to cover stock. Initiation reports look into all its sections and offerings to provide a foundational grasp of a business and its operations.
  3. Sector Reports: General industrial news focuses on the businesses that comprise a sector. Sector-specific research usually includes in-depth studies of additional characteristics.
  4. Commodities Reports: A report that research firms produce daily or weekly. These publications' authors, often commodity analysts or traders, are a great resource for more information on goods and market views.
  5. Quick Reports: A page-long report criticizing a company's news release or other brevity.

Contents of an Equity Research Report

Research papers are not needed to adhere to a predetermined format. The style of their reports might vary depending on the investment bank the analyst works for. However, research papers often adhere to a predetermined format that investors anticipate.

In-depth industry research, management analysis, financial history, trends, projections, valuations, and investor recommendations are typical components of an equity research report.

This kind of report, also known as broker research or investment research report, is intended to offer a thorough overview that investors or business executives may use to make informed judgments.

Here is a summary of what a typical report includes:

1. News & announcements of recent results

This section covers quarterly results, projections, and general business updates.

2. Upgrades/Downgrades

Upgrades and downgrades are modifications to an analyst's forecast for the price of a specific stock.

These revisions are often brought about by qualitative and quantitative study that affects the security's financial valuation, either positively or negatively.

3. Revisions to the Estimate/Price Target

Estimates are detailed forecasts of how much a firm will make over the next few years. Price targets are derived from valuations of those earnings predictions.

The price target is based on fundamentals and future supply and demand forecasts for the asset.

4. A summary of Management & Commentary

Potential investors might learn more about the caliber and makeup of a company's management team by reading the Management Overview and Commentary.

A history of the company's leadership, including its track record with capital allocation, ESG, remuneration, incentives, and stock ownership, can also be included in this section. Moreover, a description of the directors of the firm.

5. Industry Overview

This section discusses the firm's sector, rivals, and industry developments. In addition, politics, economics, social trends, technical innovation, and more are covered in industry research.

6. Financial Result History

Historical Financial Results often include a company's stock history and projections based on the present market and external factors.

Analysts must thoroughly comprehend the history of a certain sector and look for patterns or trends to back their recommendations to judge if a firm is performing at or above market expectations.

7. Valuation

A market analyst will perform stock valuation models using information such as previous financial data and market analysis. Analysts may use more than one valuation model to calculate the value of a company's shares or assets.

Absolute valuation models determine the intrinsic worth of a business or asset.

Relative equity valuation methods determine how much one firm or asset is worth in relation to another. Price/sales, Price/earnings, and Price/cash flow are the foundation for relative values.

8. Recommendations

 A buy, hold or sell recommendation made by a stock research analyst. The analyst will also provide investors with a target price that indicates where they anticipate the stock to be in a year.

What Does an Analyst in Equity Research Do?

Researching and predicting market performance, creating reports, and advising clients on the best options for their financial portfolios are all tasks that an equity research analyst is responsible for.

Equity research analysts need to be very aware of the most recent stock market changes, especially the availability of the assets, to locate investments that would appeal to the general public. They evaluate their clients' demands considering their risk tolerance and investing choices.

An equity research analyst concentrates on a certain industry, area, or group of companies to collect detailed data and make credible ideas and recommendations.

Because ER analysts often focus on a small number of businesses, they get acquainted with the markets and sectors that they analyze or monitor.

In addition, analysts must understand national business laws and regime policies to foresee how they will affect the market environment and the firm.


 It would be simpler to understand market dynamics the more thoroughly you comprehend the various sectors.

Building and sustaining beneficial connections with business executives, clients, and colleagues is a common element of an equities research analyst's job.

In addition, the capacity of an analyst to serve customers and offer perceptive suggestions that favorably affect their investment strategy is at the heart of equity research.

Here are some examples of what equities research analysts do:

  • Stock analysis can help portfolio managers make better investment decisions.
  • Compare a stock's performance to market activity to predict a stock's future.
  • Develop investment models and provide trading strategies.
  • Business analysis and market research are used to get insight into markets and industries based on their competitive analyses.
  • Use data to study and evaluate the financial risk associated with certain investment decisions.
  • One must be familiar with the particulars of various markets to compare a company's stock and a sector.

Buying versus selling analysts

Although the jobs of buy-side and sell-side analysts can occasionally overlap, their research goals are distinct.

In a buy-side organization, like a hedge fund or wealth management company, the firm's investment managers, who manage client investment portfolios and determine which stocks to purchase, sell, and hold, usually get information and suggestions from an equity research analyst.

A buy-side analyst directly impacts an investor's portfolio.

To put it another way, unlike a sell-side analyst, a buy-side analyst's job is far more about being correct; helping the fund with high-alpha ideas is essential, as is avoiding significant blunders.

In actuality, avoiding the negative is frequently a crucial aspect of the buy-side analyst's job, and many analysts approach their work to identify potential pitfalls in an idea.

An equities research analyst creates reports and recommendations for sales representatives and clients in a sell-side company, such as a brokerage or bank. The work of a sell-side analyst is not used internally to make investment choices, unlike a buy-side analyst.

Instead, a sell-side analyst's work is either promoted to consumers or used to influence the buy-investing side's decisions.

In simple terms, a sell-side research analyst's role is to monitor a list of businesses, often all of which are in the same industry, and to offer frequent research reports to the firm's customers.

During that process, the analyst often created company financial projection models and interviewed customers, suppliers, rivals, and other industry experts.

The main duty of a sell-side analyst is to convince institutional customers to direct their trading through the analyst's firm's trading desk.

The marketing aspect of this job is crucial. The buy-side must perceive the analyst as providing valuable services for the analyst to generate trading profits.

Information is vital, and some analysts are always hunting for new information or unheard-of viewpoints on the market. Since no one is interested in the third telling of the same story, there is a lot of pressure to be the first to the client with new and unique information.

How do corporations get equity research?

You wouldn't be able to get equity research, transcripts of earnings calls, or trade journals by searching for "equity research reports" on Google. However, you would find an overwhelming quantity of information to sort through.

Access to equities research studies depends heavily on connections and privileges, especially for corporate teams.

Corporate teams find it considerably more difficult to locate and acquire high-quality equity research than financial businesses and investor relations teams, who may obtain it with the appropriate rights.

For instance, if you were to search online for equity research, you would be given poor choices like

  1. Resellers of Research: 
    You may look for research studies on companies or by companies on several websites. While some of the reports are free, the majority require payment. From $15 to hundreds of dollars, prices fluctuate.
  2. Assignment Sites: 
    Many websites offer data summaries if you only want the analysts' conclusions and suggestions. Most websites offering stock quotations also aggregate expert recommendations, but you will receive only a broad overview and no specifics.
  3. Research Officials: 
    A few impartial research companies provide their studies for direct sale to investors. These reports often examine the company's earnings and a general stock price outline.
    These studies are frequently less than $100, although they can be more.

Key Takeaways

  • To create market-relevant equity research, tens of thousands of sell-side firms employ trained analysts from throughout the globe. 
    • Most firms that conduct equity research are very specialized, typically using one or two analysts to provide studies on a specific industry.
  • Corporate teams are now using equities research as a significant source of information. These teams make decisions on goods and marketing, examine rivals, evaluate mergers and acquisitions, and formulate strategic business plans using equity research.
  • Advice on whether investors should buy, hold, or sell the shares of a publicly listed company is sometimes provided in a document called an equity research report, which an equity research analyst produces.
  • Equity research reports, sometimes called broker research reports or investment research reports, serve as comprehensive summaries that investors or company leaders may utilize to make informed decisions.
  • An essential part of an equity research analyst's job is creating and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships with customers, corporate leaders, and coworkers. 
    • The core of equities research is an analyst's ability to assist clients and make insightful recommendations that positively impact their investing strategy.
  • For corporate teams, particularly, access to equity research studies primarily relies on advantages and relationships. 

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Researched and authored by Dua Bakhsh | LinkedIn

Reviewed & Edited by Ankit SinhaLinkedIn

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