The Comprehensive Guide to

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What is a Price Target?

A price target is an analyst's expectation for the future price of a security.

How Does a Price Target Work?

For example, let's assume that the Jones-Smith investment bank provides research reports about Company XYZ stock. The Jones-Smith analyst studies the industry, Company XYZ's competitors, Company XYZ's products and management, etc. The analyst creates a financial forecast for Company XYZ and determines, based on that forecast, that Company XYZ stock is worth as much as $10 per share right now, even though it's trading at $7 per share. The Jones-Smith analyst therefore sets a $10 price target for the stock, meaning that she expects Company XYZ shares to rise to $10 in the near future (the analyst might also advise investors to sell the shares once they reach $10).

Why Does a Price Target Matter?

Price targets provide insights to investors, but they also provide instruction about when to buy and sell. Additionally, price targets (if widely-followed) can also provide indications about when most other investors are going to buy and sell, which makes for potentially lucrative trading strategies.

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Paul Tracy
Paul Tracy

Paul has been a respected figure in the financial markets for more than two decades. Prior to starting InvestingAnswers, Paul founded and managed one of the most influential investment research firms in America, with more than 3 million monthly readers.