A study of analyst recommendations at the major brokerages shows that 3M Co (MMM) is the #18 broker pick, on average, out of the 30 stocks making up the Dow Jones Industrial Average, according to ETF Channel. Despite being ranked lower than the median among analyst picks of the Dow, 3M Co ranks better than the median among analyst picks for the broader S&P 500 index components, claiming the #248 spot out of 500.
In forming this rank, the analyst opinions from the major brokerage houses were tallied, and averaged; then, the underlying components were ranked according to those averages. Investors often interpret analyst opinions from different angles — when companies have a low rank among analysts, it isn't necessarily the case that investors should conclude that the stock will perform poorly. It can, of course, but a bullish investor could also take the contrarian angle and read into the data that there is lots of room for upside because the stock is so out of favor.
For these reasons, we at ETF Channel find value to putting together these rankings, because both the top and the bottom ends of the list can often make for some interesting stock picking ideas for further research.Below is a chart of rank over time: