When you're looking to invest in the stock market, it's essential to know what different analyst ratings mean. There are a variety of analyst ratings, and each one has a different meaning. 

This blog post will summarize the different ratings and explain what they mean for your investment strategy. We'll also look at how accurate Robinhood analyst ratings are and help you determine whether or not you can trust these ratings.

What do stock analyst ratings mean?

Stock analyst ratings are recommendations made by analysts who study publicly-traded companies. These analysts research a company's financial reports, management team, and overall business prospects before making a recommendation. 

The different ratings can be confusing, but they all essentially boil down to three simple categories: buy, sell, or hold. Stock analyst ratings are simply just an opinion from an expert. It's not meant to be taken as gospel, but rather as another factor to consider when making investment decisions.

How do you read stock analyst ratings?

When looking at analyst ratings, it's essential to remember that these are just recommendations. They are not concrete investment advice, and you should always do your research before making any investment decisions. 

That being said, analyst ratings can be a helpful tool for evaluating a stock. If multiple analysts rate a stock as a "buy," that's usually a good sign. Conversely, if numerous analysts rate stock as a "sell," you may want to reconsider your investment. 

You may also have the ability to read a short briefing on why the analyst gave the stock that rating. Typically, there will be multiple analysts giving their ratings for each stock. It's important to look at the big picture and not just focus on one rating. 

Take into account what all of the analysts are saying before making any decisions. Some platforms will present the average rating for you, which can be helpful. They may also show if the analyst bought any shares themselves along with the total share and entry price. This can help show if they are willing to put their money where their mouth is.

What are the different analyst ratings?

There are a few different types of analyst ratings, but the most common is "buy," "sell," and "hold." 

  • "Buy" ratings indicate that an analyst believes a stock is a good investment. 
  • "Sell" ratings mean that an analyst thinks you should sell your shares of a particular stock. 
  • "Hold" ratings are when an analyst says you should keep your shares but doesn't recommend buying anymore. 

What do underweight and overweight mean? 

You might also see a few other ratings, including "underweight" and "overweight." These indicate whether or not an analyst believes a stock is worth owning. "Underweight" means an analyst thinks a stock is a bad investment, while "overweight" means they believe the stock is a good investment.

What do underperform and outperform mean?

Another common rating is "underperform" and "outperform." These are similar to "buy" and "sell," but they usually indicate that an analyst has a slightly different opinion than the majority. 

If a stock is rated "underperform," the analyst thinks it will do worse than the market. If a stock is rated "outperform," the analyst thinks it will do better than the market.

What is a good stock analyst rating?

There's no such thing as a "good" or "bad" stock analyst rating. It all depends on your investment strategy and what you're looking for in a stock. Also, a good stock analyst rating accurately reflects the company's health and can be used to make accurate predictions about its future. 

The best stock analysts are often those with a good track record of making accurate predictions about companies and whose predictions are backed up by solid facts. Ultimately, a good stock rating will vary for every investor. It all depends on what criteria one uses to measure the quality and value of a stock. Usually, a stock rating will change over time based on investors' reactions to the company's performance and growth potential. 

Can you trust analyst ratings?

When looking at an investment opportunity, analyst ratings can help you make a more informed decision. They're often used as a benchmark for how well the company is doing and what future it may have. 

Analyst ratings can be helpful, but you should always do your research before making any investment decisions. These ratings are not concrete advice and may not always be accurate. 

Before you decide if you should trust analyst ratings, there are some things to consider. First, keep in mind that these ratings can be biased. 

For example, if the rating agency has financial ties with the company being rated, they may give them a higher rating than they deserve. Even if there are no financial ties, personal biases can still become rampant. 

An example of this would be if an analyst is passionate about sustainable investments, they may rate "green" companies more favorably than others. This can lead to a biased "green" buy signal when in reality, some cautions should be made more clear.

Second, it's essential to understand where the data was collected and how much time has passed since then—you don't want to base your decision on outdated information. If you are looking at an analyst's ratings from years past, they may not be accurate to the current state of the company. 

Finally, remember that analysts know that many people will make decisions based on their ratings. Because of this, some analysts may be more conservative with their ratings to avoid any legal trouble. 

Others may be more liberal to generate more business for the firm. If they are invested in the stock, they have a personal incentive to ensure that the market sees their company in a good light. 

The analysts offering these ratings operate in the financial industries, so their analysis focuses on evaluating companies based on their likelihood of success or failure. The foundation of this rating is primarily determined by assessing the business itself—what it does, how it makes money, and other relevant factors such as market trends and management strength. 

Larger firms that invest heavily in research tend to have higher analyst ratings, though assigning numerical values can be somewhat arbitrary. Also, with smaller companies that are less established, expectations for the future can vary widely. 

Human bias and financial incentives can be a way to skew the legitimacy of these ratings, so be wary of who is giving the rating. You can trust some analysts if they have a good track record to maintain that reputation. 

However, it's always best to verify their research with your own and make sure the data is current. Bias can play a role in these ratings, so be aware of any potential conflict of interest. In the end, it's your money—so you should make the final decision. 

The more educated you can become, the more trust you can put into yourself rather than outsource that responsibility. 

How accurate are Robinhood analyst ratings?

Robinhood is a popular investment app that offers analyst ratings for stocks. Third-party firms provide these ratings, which can be a helpful tool for evaluating a stock. However, it would be best if you always did your research before making any investment decisions. 

As with any stock rating system, Robinhood's analyst ratings are not perfect. However, they can be a helpful tool for evaluating a stock. If you're considering investing in a particular stock, it's worth looking at the analyst ratings to see what the experts think. 

Ultimately, you should always make your own investment decisions and do your research before making any trades. But if you're looking for a starting point, analyst ratings can be helpful. 


Investment ratings are subjective and often differ from one analyst to the next. Some analysts focus intensely on long-term growth and the fundamentals, while others tend to worry more about near-term numbers. 

You need to look beyond analysts' ratings and focus on addressing your specific needs as an investor. Use analyst reports as a starting point for your analysis, and never blindly accept them without due diligence. 

In short, analysts provide a starting point for research and can sometimes be quite accurate. However, human nature and financial incentives can bias their opinions. But by knowing how to read stock analyst ratings, you can be a more informed investor. 

It's just one of the many steps you can take to become more financially literate. Other forms of company research including reading annual reports and SEC filings, as well as following industry trends are important in the process of evaluating investment decisions. 

Finally, analysts sometimes assign a "hold" rating to stocks when uncertain of their long-term prospects. In general, a rating of either "buy" or "sell" means that an analyst has strong confidence in both the short and long-term growth potential of a stock or the downfall of a firm.