February 2016 – A Review of Stock Research Overview Pages

Online brokerages, particularly self-directed discount brokers, have continuously expanded the stock quote and research information they offer for individual securities. Combined, all of this information can be overwhelming. The stock research overview page serves as a hub where users can gain a top-level view of a single stock’s performance at a glance. The best firms seamlessly combine two goals on stock research overview pages: allowing users to understand a stock’s position in the markets and its industry and letting clients dig deeper to understand performance and view additional details related to earnings, dividends, options and other key financials. For this report, we reviewed all 18 firms in our coverage group. In our analysis we considered the following criteria:

  • Quote information
  • Earnings information
  • Fundamentals and technical
  • Dividends
  • Price charts
  • Research reports and ratings
  • News, commentaries and blogs
  • Integration with other site features – watch lists, alerts and trading
  • Index and competitor comparisons
  • Social sentiment features
  • Company profiles

When comparing stock overview research pages, the majority of firms rank very close to one another. While three firms earned A- grades, only one received an A. The rest of the firms ranged within the C- to B+ range, though one firm earned a D for not offering a single overview page and including a severely limited amount of information on stocks. Research overview pages offered by leading firms included more information than the firms at the bottom of our rankings. Popular data points include the 52-week range (89% of firms), beta (56%), market cap (89%), shares outstanding (72%) and exchange (72%).

The best firms also displayed additional research to complement the stock’s financial data. An overwhelming majority (89%) of the coverage group firms offered some form of research ratings for securities, but only 39% provided a proprietary research rating or report. Additionally, for context as to how a stock is performing compared to its peers, almost three-fourths (72%) of brokerages offer comparisons to related companies or benchmark indices on the stock research overview page.

Additional key findings include:

  • 67% of firms provide buy, sell or trade links on their stock quote overview pages
  • 83% of firms link directly from their positions listings
  • Less than 25% of firms provided holdings information on their stock quote overview pages