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Number of Analysts

Each analyst following a stock works for a different brokerage or investment banker. One brokerage may employ thousands of stockbrokers, and each of those brokers may have dozens, if not hundreds of individual clients. So each analyst's report potentially reaches tens of thousands of investors. Equally significant, analysts' research reports circulate to mutual funds and other big buyers.

How many analysts is enough? Most well known larger companies have between 20 and 35 analysts. For instance, in early 2002, Cisco Systems had 33 analysts, Merck had 26, AOL Time Warner had 30, and Microsoft had 28 analysts. Smaller firms that have already attracted interest will have somewhere between 7 or 8 to 15 or so analysts. For in stance, Chico's FAS, a fast-growing women's clothing store operator, had 11 analysts when I checked. Firms that hadn't yet garnered much attention may only have coverage from one, two, or three analysts.


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