How do you know which stock recommendations you can trust? With thousands of analysts rating thousands of stocks, transparency and accountability are essential for anyone conducting their own research.
At TipRanks we measure and rank the performance of over 7,000 Wall Street analysts, to bring you this transparency and accountability. We thought it would be interesting to use the data we have on analysts to see which firms are the most successful.
Using our unique financial accountability engine to analyze Buy and Sell recommendations of over 7,000 analysts from more than 300 firms, we set out to find Wall Street’s top-performing firms when compared to the S&P.
How We Measure the Firms
Our methodology factors in the success rate, average return, and statistical significance of analysts’ ratings since 2009. We only consider analysts who have published a rating in the past year. We calculate the average success rate and the average return of all the analysts tracked by TipRanks from each firm, in this case when compared to the S&P 500.
By incorporating statistical significance into our analysis, the list prioritizes firms with a higher number of ratings. This explains why some research firms may have a higher success rate and average return yet rank lower.
Our initial assumption was that the bigger, and more prominent firms, would be the most successful. However, we discovered that smaller firms including Needham and Craig-Hallum take the top spots.
It is important for us to emphasize that we are not an analyst endorsement platform, however we do believe in sharing who gets the best returns and this information appears on our website.
Top 10 Firms Compared to the S&P 500
Let’s take a closer look at Wall Street’s best-performing firms when benchmarked against the S&P 500 over a 1-year period.
Topping the list is independent investment bank, Needham. It has an average return per rating that beats the S&P by 13.8% and a success rate of 55% on over 7,000 ratings the firm’s analysts have made. With 50 Needham analysts tracked by TipRanks, it is significantly smaller than some of the larger banks on the list. Interestingly, the company’s most profitable sector is Basic Materials.
Needham’s best-performing analyst is Quinn Bolton. Currently ranked number one out of 7,317 analysts, when benchmarked against the S&P 500 over a 1-year time period, he has a 76% success rate and an average return of 33.7% when compared to the S&P. With a focus on the Technology sector, his most recent activity includes assigning a Buy rating for Amat and Inphi, for which he has an average return of 30.9%.
Employee-owned investment bank Craig-Hallum comes in second place with an impressive 22.7% average return above the S&P and 58% success rate based on 1,870 ratings from 30 analysts. Like Needham, the firm’s most profitable sector is Basic Materials.
When compared to the S&P, Craig-Hallum analyst Eric Des Lauriers has an 88% success rate and an average return of 135.1%. With 25 ratings, he is ranked number 53 overall on TipRanks when compared to the S&P. He recently maintained a Buy rating for Turning Point Brands which manufactures and distributes branded consumer products.
3. Rosenblatt Securities
Taking third place is boutique tech research firm Rosenblatt Securities. The company’s most profitable sector is Consumer Goods. Its 11 analysts have a 59% success rate and beat the S&P by 15.5%. Rosenblatt analyst Hans Mosesmann who specializes in semiconductors, ranked as the 4th best analyst in 2020.
4. H.C. Wainwright
Founded in 1868, HC Wainwright is one of the oldest banks in the U.S. In fourth place it has an impressive average return of 31.5% above the S&P and a 50% success rate from its 27 analysts who have made over 5,000 ratings.
When looking at performance when compared to the firm’s sector over one year, H.C. Wainwright comes out in top place and their analyst Ram Selvaraju who specializes in Healthcare is currently ranked number 3 on TipRanks with no benchmark.
Cleveland-based KeyBanc comes in fifth place. Its 87 analysts have a 53% success rate on over 6,000 ratings, with an average return that beats the S&P by 7.3%.
Next on the list is Oppenheimer. With the largest number of recommendations in the top 10, over 11,600, the firm’s 93 analysts have a 50% success rate and an average return of 10.7% above the S&P. With 6 Oppenheimer analysts in the Top 25 Wall Street analysts (without a benchmark) on TipRanks, the firm has the most representation.
7. Chardan Capital
Independent investment bank Chardan makes seventh place. Its seven analysts have a 50% success rate and an average return of 27.1% above the S&P on 933 ratings. Their most profitable sector is Healthcare.
8. Euro Pacific Capital
The firm’s mission is to offer globally diversified investment options; their U.S. recommendations place them in 8th place. The firm’s 12 analysts have a 48% success rate and an average return that exceeds the S&P by +36.9%, the biggest on the list, on 573 ratings.
9. The Benchmark Company
In ninth place is the Benchmark company, a relatively young firm, founded in 1988. The firm has a success rate of 54% and an average return of 7% on close to 3,000 ratings by 25 analysts when compared to the S&P.
10. Robert W. Baird
With 103 analysts, this firm is the biggest on the list. It has a 51% success rate and an average return of an impressive 6.3% above the S&P on over 7,500 ratings. Its most profitable sector is Technology.
How to Research the Research Firms
If you want to see which firms come out on top using different criteria, including timeframe, no benchmark or benchmarked against sector, or S&P, head to the Top Firms on TipRanks and adjust the settings to match your preferences.