Analysts bank predictions 'becoming more inaccurate'

22 August 2008

More and more doubt is being placed on how well analysts can forecast bank earnings, Bloomberg reports.

Data compiled by the news agency, using the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, showed that correctly predicted earnings were only made by the forecasters in just 6.7 per cent of cases in 2008.

This is the lowest ratio measured by Bloomberg since 1992 - providing evidence for the point of view that the performance of the crunch-hit financial sector is becoming increasingly difficult to predict.

Despite the downwards trend, high-profile accurate calls have occurred recently - such as Meredith Whitney's claim that Citigroup would cut its dividend two months before the bank actually did so.

However, despite this increasing regulations from the Securities and Exchange Commission have made the job harder, one analyst told the news agency.

Walter "Bucky" Hellwig at Morgan Asset Management commented: "It's not the high-profit, high-dollar profession that it used to be.

"In the wake of all the regulation to separate investment banking from analysis, the job of the analyst became just that, often just watching the stocks and checking the estimate."

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