An opinion given by an analyst to his/her clients about whether a given stock is worth buying or not. Wall Street investment firms employ thousands of analysts whose job is to issue reports and recommendations on specific stocks. These analysts typically look at the company's fundamentals and then build financial models in order to project future trends, most notably future earnings. They then use these projections as a basis for issuing recommendations on whether or not they think the stock should be bought or sold. Each brokerage has its own terminology, which makes it difficult to compare recommendations between brokerages, but the most common ratings are (in descending order of quality) strong buy, buy, hold, and sell.

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You may want to look for a recommendation when you are looking for a new company you haven't dealt with before.

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I follow one particular stock analyst for my company very closely and usually find that his recommendation about whether to buy or sell our stock is accurate.

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The Wall Street analyst gave the car company a sell recommendation because it faced significant media scrutiny and lawsuit liability over its vehicles' deficient airbags.

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Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) consensus recommendation