HomeMost PopularTech StocksWall Street Analysts Think Western Digital (WDC) Is a Good Investment: Is...

Wall Street Analysts Think Western Digital (WDC) Is a Good Investment: Is It?

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The recommendations of Wall Street analysts are often relied on by investors when deciding whether to buy, sell, or hold a stock. Media reports about these brokerage-firm-employed (or sell-side) analysts changing their ratings often affect a stockโ€™s price. Do they really matter, though?

Letโ€™s take a look at what these Wall Street heavyweights have to say about Western Digital (WDC) before we discuss the reliability of brokerage recommendations and how to use them to your advantage.

Western Digital currently has an average brokerage recommendation (ABR) of 1.38, on a scale of 1 to 5 (Strong Buy to Strong Sell), calculated based on the actual recommendations (Buy, Hold, Sell, etc.) made by 21 brokerage firms. An ABR of 1.38 approximates between Strong Buy and Buy.

Of the 21 recommendations that derive the current ABR, 17 are Strong Buy, representing 81% of all recommendations.

Brokerage Recommendation Trends for WDC

Broker Rating Breakdown Chart for WDC

Check price target & stock forecast for Western Digital here>>>

The ABR suggests buying Western Digital, 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.

Do you wonder why? As a result of the vested interest of brokerage firms in a stock they cover, their analysts tend to rate it with a strong positive bias. According to our research, brokerage firms assign five โ€œStrong Buyโ€ recommendations for every โ€œStrong Sellโ€ recommendation.

In other words, their interests arenโ€™t always aligned with retail investors, rarely indicating where the price of a stock could actually be heading. Therefore, the best use of this information could be validating your own research or an indicator that has proven to be highly successful in predicting a stockโ€™s price movement.

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.

ABR Should Not Be Confused With Zacks Rank

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.

In addition, the different Zacks Rank grades are applied proportionately to all stocks for which brokerage analysts provide current-year earnings estimates. In other words, this tool always maintains a balance among its five ranks.

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.

Is WDC a Good Investment?

In terms of earnings estimate revisions for Western Digital, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has increased 24% over the past month to -$0.84.

Analystsโ€™ growing optimism over the companyโ€™s earnings prospects, as indicated by strong agreement among them in revising EPS estimates higher, could be a legitimate reason for the stock to soar 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 #2 (Buy) for Western Digital. You can see the complete list of todayโ€™s Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks here >>>>

Therefore, the Buy-equivalent ABR for Western Digital may serve as a useful guide for investors.

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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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