"Many investors these days complain that stocks they own fall precipitously without warning from the analysts who persuaded them to buy the shares in the first place," Keenan reports. "Why didn't Wall Street pros issue warnings before the routs? Well, why would they? Analysts are more rainmakers than researchers these days. They're paid to be positive. " Of 28,000 analyst recommendations on 6,700 companies in the U.S. and Canada, less than 1 percent are sells or strong sells ... By contrast, one-third of the ratings are strong buys, another third are buys, and all the rest are holds." That ratio hasn't changed much over the past five years, "and it's not likely to change as long as analysts pay -- $2 million to $3 million annually for top-ranked names and as much as $15 million for the superstars -- is linked to how much business they bring to their firms."
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