How We Crunched the Numbers

To create rankings of the top U.S. analysts by industry, Bloomberg Rankings worked with Greenwich Associates, a Stamford, Connecticut, consultant to financial services firms. From December 2011 through March, Greenwich Associates interviewed buy-side analysts who use Wall Street research, asking each respondent to list the 10 firms they regarded as the most important sources of information on the industries they cover.

Approximately 60 percent of these discussions were in person; the balance were conducted online. Greenwich Associates heard from a total of 980 analysts at 216 firms, including banks, insurance companies, investment management firms, mutual funds, pension funds and hedge funds. These accounts represent a total of about $5.6 billion in commissions, or an average of about $30million in commissions per buy-side firm. Participating firms were placed in seven tiers based on the commissions they generated. The responses of top-tier firms received the greatest weight.

Greenwich received responses for 58 industries, and we’re publishing the 35 that had at least 55 responses. For the final ranking, BLOOMBERG MARKETS researched and added the names of the sell-side analysts with prime responsibility for tracking each industry. We also compiled buy-sell-hold charts for the best calls of some of those named.

Greenwich listed as many as six winning firms for some industries and as few as two for others. The number of firms selected was a function of their commission-weighted share of the institutional vote. Statistical ties occurred when the difference between weighted shares was small. When the difference between the second-and third-ranked firms was substantial, no No. 3 firm was named.

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