It took Mel and I, a little while to figure out that some of the free sites (e.g. 4-traders) and the subscription-based ones (e.g. stockopedia) have a feature where a collection of brokers, apparently, send in an opinion about the desirability/buyability/performance and so on of a particular stock, and these sites then publish these brokers' opinions.
So 4-traders use the following range of opinions:
Apologies in advance, for seeming stupid, but when they say "SELL" do they always mean "the firm is looking pretty bad these days - sell now to cut your losses", or how about "the stock is at the top of it's upward trajectory - sell now to make your profit"? (I assume they mean the former). Another opinion I'm slightly curious about is "OUTPERFORM", so is this staying "the firm is doing really well - buy while you have the chance, just that it's doing really well (and could be pricey)".
BTW, Mel and I are not swayed by using these indications as trading tips, firstly due to the ambiguity (IMO) and secondly I suspect that the analysts opinions are almost always out of date.
M & M