Analysts press for underinvestment

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I have noted before that stock analysts need know little about how strategy affects firm performance, so an academic study on the impact of stock analysts on firms’ investment behaviour is intriguing. The unpublished working paper by Benner and Ranganathan at Wharton finds that negative pressures from analysts to improve cash flow and stock price trigger reductions in strategic investments during periods of technological change. Two examples:

  • One analyst continually pressured Kodak to cut costs and investment in digital technology: “…we suspect ...
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