We show that investor underreaction and overreaction to company news (Michaely, Thaler, and Womack, 1995; De Bondt and Thaler, 1985) can be traced back to sell-side analysts’ tendency to delay their stock recommendations for several months. Analysts exhibit stickiness in their stock recommendations because they face reputational concern in changing such recommendations too often and/or difficulties in processing new information. Using a broad set of corporate events, we find that heterogeneity among the population of analysts causes their response to corporate news to be spread over several months. Long-term drift and return reversal following those events can be predicted at different horizons by the fraction of contrarian recommendations, i.e., recommendations that contradict the initial market reception of the news. Together, our findings highlight the role of analysts’ stickiness in shaping long-term stock price reaction to corporate news.
BOULLAND, R. (2018). Analysts’ Stickiness, Over-Reaction and Drift. Finance, 39(1), pp. 35-69.