Australian analysts cover approximately 450 ASX listed companies.
Unfortunately, when reviewed individually many analysts and stockbrokers have difficulty beating the market average.
About Consensus Data
Several firms in Australia collate ASX research reports published by stockbrokers and generate a "Consensus Recommendation" for each company. These data feeds are then on-sold to institutional clients for distribution.
There's a couple of disadvantages to these databases:
1. Lack of depth: Smaller-cap companies are often covered by only one analyst.
2. Unknown update times: Analysts often stop coverage on a company without notifying the market. This leads to outdated consensus data.
Market Index tries to counter these pitfalls by:
• Publishing broker number: The number of brokers involved in a recommendation is displayed.
• Size Filter: Only the largest 150 companies in our consensus database are listed below. Analysts usually review their recommendation on large companies more often than small-caps.
• Freshness cut-off: Ratings older than 60 days are ignored.
Market Index sources data from several institutional distributors.
As brokers use several different rating systems, Market Index groups ratings according to a basic 3 tier scale: Buy, Hold and Sell.
Strong Buy, Buy, Accumulate and Outperform.
Strong Sell, Sell, Reduce and Underperform.
How is the “Consensus” figure derived?
Market Index gives each recommendation a score:
Buy = 3, Hold = 2, Sell = 1
The total is divided by the number of brokers.
Analysts have a bullish bias so cut-off scores aren't evenly spread. The levels are arbitrary and were selected to make skimming the list easier. You can make your own levels using Excel.
How to use the data
Consensus data should only be used to uncover companies that might warrant further investigation. Analysts often look solely at a company's fundamentals while ignoring market sentiment and momentum. Don't base any investment decision on the data.