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A financial analyst tracks the performance of companies and industries, evaluates their potential value as investments, and makes recommendations on specific securities.
When the most highly respected analysts express a strong opinion about a stock, there is often an immediate impact on that stock's price as investors rush to follow the advice.
Some analysts work for financial institutions, such as mutual fund companies, brokerage firms, and banks. Others work for analytical services, such as Value Line, Inc., Morningstar, Inc., Standard & Poor's, or Moody's Investors Service, or as independent evaluators.
Analysts' commentaries also appear regularly in the financial press, and on radio, television, and the Internet.