FORTUNE — As someone who has been tracking the forecasts of Apple (AAPL) analysts for nearly five years, I was not entirely surprised to learn that when 365 sell-side analysts (not just covering Apple) were asked what factors affected their compensation, the accuracy and timeliness of their earnings forecasts came in dead last.
This revelation comes from a survey conducted by a team of business school academics and posted online last month by Social Science Electronic Publishing. Among its other findings:
- 82% of the analysts were men, 45% had MBAs, 43% followed anywhere from 16 to 25 companies
- 81.5% named hedge funds as their employer’s most important clients; 13% named retail clients
- Private phone calls with management were their most useful sources for generating forecasts
- 53% said they had direct contact with a CEO or CFO five or more times a year
- The most likely consequence of issuing a below-consensus forecast was to increase their clients’ perception of their credibility
There’s lots more where that came from.
Link: Inside the “Black Box” of Sell-Side Financial Analysts, by Lawrence Brown, Andrew Call, Michael Clement and Nathan Sharp.
Subscribe to Well Adjusted, our newsletter full of simple strategies to work smarter and live better, from the Fortune Well team. Sign up today.