HomeMost PopularTech StocksPure Storage (PSTG) Is Considered a Good Investment by Brokers: Is That...

Pure Storage (PSTG) Is Considered a Good Investment by Brokers: Is That True?

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When deciding whether to buy, sell, or hold a stock, investors often rely on analyst recommendations. Media reports about rating changes by these brokerage-firm-employed (or sell-side) analysts often influence a stockโ€™s price, but are they really important?

Before we discuss the reliability of brokerage recommendations and how to use them to your advantage, letโ€™s see what these Wall Street heavyweights think about Pure Storage (PSTG).

Pure Storage currently has an average brokerage recommendation (ABR) of 1.42, on a scale of 1 to 5 (Strong Buy to Strong Sell), calculated based on the actual recommendations (Buy, Hold, Sell, etc.) made by 20 brokerage firms. An ABR of 1.42 approximates between Strong Buy and Buy.

Of the 20 recommendations that derive the current ABR, 14 are Strong Buy and three are Buy. Strong Buy and Buy respectively account for 70% and 15% of all recommendations.

Brokerage Recommendation Trends for PSTG

Broker Rating Breakdown Chart for PSTG

Check price target & stock forecast for Pure Storage here>>>

The ABR suggests buying Pure Storage, but making an investment decision solely on the basis of this information might not be a good idea. According to several studies, brokerage recommendations have little to no success guiding investors to choose stocks with the most potential for price appreciation.

Are you wondering why? The vested interest of brokerage firms in a stock they cover often results in a strong positive bias of their analysts in rating it. Our research shows that for every โ€œStrong Sellโ€ recommendation, brokerage firms assign five โ€œStrong Buyโ€ recommendations.

This means that the interests of these institutions are not always aligned with those of retail investors, giving little insight into the direction of a stockโ€™s future price movement. It would therefore be best to use this information to validate your own analysis or a tool that has proven to be highly effective at predicting stock price movements.

Zacks Rank, our proprietary stock rating tool with an impressive externally audited track record, categorizes stocks into five groups, ranging from Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) to Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), and is an effective indicator of a stockโ€™s price performance in the near future. Therefore, using the ABR to validate the Zacks Rank could be an efficient way of making a profitable investment decision.

Zacks Rank Should Not Be Confused With ABR

Although both Zacks Rank and ABR are displayed in a range of 1-5, they are different measures altogether.

The ABR is calculated solely based on brokerage recommendations and is typically displayed with decimals (example: 1.28). In contrast, the Zacks Rank is a quantitative model allowing investors to harness the power of earnings estimate revisions. It is displayed in whole numbers โ€” 1 to 5.

It has been and continues to be the case that analysts employed by brokerage firms are overly optimistic with their recommendations. Because of their employersโ€™ vested interests, these analysts issue more favorable ratings than their research would support, misguiding investors far more often than helping them.

In contrast, the Zacks Rank is driven by earnings estimate revisions. And near-term stock price movements are strongly correlated with trends in earnings estimate revisions, according to empirical research.

Furthermore, the different grades of the Zacks Rank are applied proportionately across all stocks for which brokerage analysts provide earnings estimates for the current year. In other words, at all times, this tool maintains a balance among the five ranks it assigns.

There is also a key difference between the ABR and Zacks Rank when it comes to freshness. When you look at the ABR, it may not be up-to-date. Nonetheless, since brokerage analysts constantly revise their earnings estimates to reflect changing business trends, and their actions get reflected in the Zacks Rank quickly enough, it is always timely in predicting future stock prices.

Should You Invest in PSTG?

In terms of earnings estimate revisions for Pure Storage, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has remained unchanged over the past month at $1.59.

Analystsโ€™ steady views regarding the companyโ€™s earnings prospects, as indicated by an unchanged consensus estimate, could be a legitimate reason for the stock to perform in line with the broader market in the near term.

The size of the recent change in the consensus estimate, along with three other factors related to earnings estimates, has resulted in a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) for Pure Storage. You can see the complete list of todayโ€™s Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks here >>>>

It may therefore be prudent to be a little cautious with the Buy-equivalent ABR for Pure Storage.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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