Isolating the Information Content of Equity Analysts' Recommendation Changes, Post Reg FD


* Corresponding author: Department of Finance, Banking and Insurance, ASU Box 32058, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC 28608-2058; Phone: (828) 262-6188; Fax: (828) 262-6612; E-mail:


We investigate the information content of equity analysts' recommendation changes subsequent to the passage of Regulation Fair Disclosure. We find that analyst upgrades (downgrades) are associated with positive (negative) abnormal returns. Overall, stock prices tend to react significantly more strongly to recommendation changes accompanied by news events than to those that are not. Even so, returns around recommendation changes not accompanied by news are significantly different from zero. This result holds after controlling for firm-specific variables and the incidence of multiple simultaneous recommendation changes. We conclude that analyst recommendation changes, in and of themselves, are informative.