Hi Billy, to my knowledge, the analyst reports which are open to the public are the sell-side versions, where they earn via the brokerage businesses and IB/ commercial banking relationships with these firms, and the buy-side versions are the ones which are internally circulated within asset/investment management firms and their investor clients. And to be perfectly honest, both are quite inaccurate given that most predictions are derived from historical information, and each have their own vested interest that skews results to their favor, making this accuracy even worse. So to answer your question: 1) & 3) I was looking up such information recently and well, I couldn't exactly find the recent numbers, but analyst target price prediction has quite a large disparity, according to BCA Research. The dark blue bars being analyst earnings growth, and the rest of the bars being actual realized growth sorted into year duration. Although I would take this research with a pinch of salt given that the information source is from about 1990s to early 2000s, and may not be properly indicative of today, it still gives you an idea of the incentives to "over-sell" a stock for these firms, both for the analyst's sakes and the overall firm's sake. For the analyst, giving sell recommendations that deviate from the crowd that turns out to be wrong is infitismally painful than if they followed the average and turned out to be wrong - we don't really like to stray off the beaten path when our livelihood and reputation is at stake. A good buy recommendation = more sales, more business with the client, perhaps promotion is not too far away as well. It is the contradictory nature of the research analyst who is trusted to give accurate, impartial information but yet serve the purpose of the firm whose sole purpose is to make a profit that is the huge dilemma here. I think all analyst have to face at some point in their career. The website I took the info from is here: https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2018/11/13/1542091438000/How-accurate-are-sell-side-analysts-/ ! 2) Though regulations have been tightening up after the whole Enron and internet bubble burst regarding appropriate analyst predictions, an analysis done by Bespoke Investment Group ( https://www.ft.com/content/0609b1b4-ec51-11e6-ba01-119a44939bb6 ) still found that of 12,122 ratings of the S&P 500 in 2015, only 6.67% carried a sell. I think we can all agree that this ties in back to 1) and 3), due to the whole idea of contradicting goals, serving the retail investor, or the firms? I believe that there is a penalty for foul play, meaning false misleading of investors, using of fake information, but I think generally such analysis reports do use justifiable, real information and do state that it is just an opinion of that analyst, and is not responsible for the loss of the individual (though they may exaggerate the effect of this information). There are laws that protect professionals from unlimited liability. Could you imagine posting a research paper that made a loss, and ultimately had to pay for every single person that raised their hand and said they followed your advice and lost money? no one would do the job! So all in all: take the analyst reports with a pinch of salt. I like to compare them, and look at how they derive their information and growth numbers from. But it is not unlikely their predictions are quite off. I think if you go to a Bloomberg Terminal and go to Top Glove's Earnings Estimate (Shortcut EE), you will see a myriad of buy, sell and hold recommendations for the same stock. Just goes to show information is intrepreted differently by different people, and we all don't possess the power of foresight. Even the Oracle of Omaha makes mistakes (coughKraft heinz cough).