Extracting Insight From Stock Research Analysts

Wall Street research has been in a long and steady decline for years. Between the obvious loss of objectivity brought on by huge investment banking fees being paid to "buy coverage" and regulations like FD which made it almost impossible to get any information out of companies, Wall Street research has lost a lot of its mojo in the past decade.

But that does not mean that there aren't good analysts doing good work. Many of them are not at the large banks and brokerage firms anymore and some of them are even blogging for a living.

There's a new service launching today called Pulse that does a nice job aggregating a lot of these voices, not in the form of research reports, but in the form of relevant comments made about public companies.

I should disclose that I am a shareholder and director of Alacra, the company that is behind Pulse. I've been an investor in Alacra for over ten years and I know the team and the quality of the work they do and Pulse is yet another example of a great product coming out of Alacra.

The thing about Pulse is its "real time" and you get a sense of what analysts are saying right now. Another thing I like is that their definition of analyst is very broad. Most people would not think of Kara Swisher as an analyst, but you can see her comments about companies in Pulse:
Alacra Street Pulse - Analyst - Alternative - Swisher[1]

You can also see all my comments about public companies here.

But Pulse is really more about full-time professional stock analysts like Doug Freedman, a semiconductor analyst at American Technology Research. You can see his comments here.

If you are an investor or trader who values getting the "pulse of the street" then I think Pulse will be a valuable new service for you. Check it out and let me know what you think.

#stocks#VC & Technology#Web/Tech

Comments (Archived):

  1. S.t

    Is Pulse on Twitter yet?

  2. Mo

    Integrated Stocktwits and Pulse is the killer app.

  3. gregorylent

    stocktwits .. and what else has a mechanism for filtering wheat from chaff?pulse has a huge future though, in medical, many other fields, recommendation engines are needed

  4. Chris

    Wow, great product, with Bloomberg and Reuters struggling it must be time for a changing of the guard.Real time Twitter/Pulse financial data must be the future. It gives power to the individual investor also.

  5. Harry DeMott

    Interesting product. I’m sure you have also seen Skygrid – which does some of the same things – but is geared more to the professional investor – so contact with the street is pre supposed – thus most of the info is coming from blogs and the such. There’s no doubt that Wall Street research has taken a fall (as a former equity research analyst for 8 years I certainly know) but there are still quite a few excellent analysts out there in both big and small companies. What is really exciting is to see the changing if the guard in some industries where there are no scred cows and no preconceived notions. Check out Sean Kelly in Gaming from B of A or Anthony Di Clemente at Lehman (Barclay’s) on media. Totally fresh perspectives.

  6. graubart

    Barry from Alacra here.Thanks for the great feedback. We’re exploring best ways to integrate with twitter – you can find us @alacrapulse and we’d welcome your thoughts there.We’re huge StockTwits fans as well, so stay tuned on that note.

  7. andyswan

    Barry this looks really good. The ticker input is a bit annoying, but the layout is nice, clean and very readable. Down to the brass tacks, I like it.ping me andy at mytrade dot com

  8. Jason Meshwork

    Barry – very interesting. Are you looking to integrate with more traditional research product other than media interviews? Also not sure I understand how you rate the analysts on your star criteria. Thanks.

    1. graubart

      Thanks, Jason. On our professional platform we do integrate more tightly with credit, investment and market research, but that involves managing permissioning of that content for the client, so it doesn’t work in the free version.As for the ratings, they’re simply a quantitative measure of how frequently an analyst is quoted in our database (top quintile gets 5 stars). We have some ideas on how to make the stars more meaningful going forward. Would welcome others’ thoughts.

  9. Jonathan Berkowitz

    I don’t think I quite understand the value proposition behind pulse … or more accurately, I don’t see a value proposition I actually derive benefit from.It looks like an aggregated RSS feed with three filter options (by firm, by company, by analyst). It seems to me, that real-time isn’t as valuable as ‘near real time but pre-filtered for importance by educated community of people like me’Maybe I’m missing something? (Note: I do somewhat by the breadth of content argument as potentially interesting)

    1. graubart

      Jonathan – obviously, I can’t answer whether you’ll get benefits from the app, but here’s some of the value that others have expressed to me:It’s hard to get a single view of what various opinion leaders are saying about a company. For example, when Carol Bartz was appointed CEO of Yahoo, one client used Pulse to gauge the response from sell-side firms, from industry analysts at Gartner and from prominent bloggers. While you could subscribe to RSS feeds for the bloggers and scan them for comments, it’s not very easy to define RSS feeds for comments by sell-side and industry analysts. By using semantic tagging to tag numerous news & blog feeds, we pick up those comments and integrate them with the blog comments.Whether for idea generation or current awareness, aggregating and organizing this information can add value. The first Pulse application is Street Pulse – analyst comments, but we are leveraging the same platform and semantic tagging engine to launch additional apps in the next few months – Deal Pulse (M&A events & rumors), Weak Pulse (distressed companies), CxO Pulse (CEO/CFO comments). Together, these will provide users with highly targeted slices of data that would be otherwise challenging to pull together.

      1. Jonathan Berkowitz

        thanks for the response … I appreciate your perspective. I’m open minded and will follow pulse, as i’m interested in the space of emerging, alternative info. svcs.

      2. howardlindzon

        good stuff barry

  10. onebodyanimation

    I should say that you are good analyst. I like your stocks research reports.