Comprehensibility and comprehensiveness of financial analysts’ reports

Marlies Whitehouse-Furrer, Daniel Perrin


Financial analysts and their texts play a key role in the financial community. Despite their importance, both the analysts as writers and the texts themselves are widely under-researched, as a review of the literature in the field reveals. This is the gap that our large research project on financial analysts’ written communication aims to close. Based on a context-annotated corpus of roughly 1500 financial analysts’ company reviews (in German, English, and Japanese), we investigate the cultural, organizational, and individual variety of the texts’ communicative potential for investors. The final goal of the entire research project is to identify critical situations and situative good practices of cross-disciplinary communication in the financial community. In the present paper, we focus on one specific genre, a small qualitative sample, a product-only approach, and on one specific research question from the financial communication project: why do equity analysts’ company updates for investors fail to reach their communicative potential? We start by systematically contextualizing the genre in the light of the research question (Section 1). Based on a qualitative English sub-corpus (Section 2), we then explain how we used pragmatic text analysis to investigate the texts’ comprehensibility and comprehensiveness in cross-disciplinary communication (Section 3). The results suggest that these texts bear the risk of partial communicative failure (Section 4) and what actions can improve their communicative potential (Section 5).


Equity analysts; Investor relations; Communicative potential; Cross-disciplinary communication; Pragmatic text analysis; Writing coaching


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Copyright (c) 2015 Swiss Association of Communication and Media Research and Università della Svizzera italiana. Published by Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

Studies in Communication Sciences | ISSN: 1424-4896