Merrill topped Bloomberg’s analysis of analysts, making sixty-eight winning calls on stocks in the two year period studied. Behind Merrill were second ranked UBS, third place Credit Suisse, fourth Morgan Stanley and fifth Deutsche Bank.
Even all those correct calls haven’t brought analysts back to their internet boom glory, however.
"The age of the rock star analyst is gone,'' says Browning, who spent 18 years covering airlines at Merrill Lynch, Oppenheimer & Co. and Wertheim Schroeder & Co. before rising through the ranks. "The age of the alpha-generating analyst is here.''
The rock stars had more fun. These days, analysts are working harder for less money. Pay -- which had poisoned the system because analysts' compensation was linked to investment banking work -- has been cut almost in half.
Senior analysts now earn about $600,000 a year, down from $1 million in 2000, says Alan Johnson, managing director of Johnson Associates Inc., a New York-based compensation consulting firm.