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Trying to predict how current world events will impact on companies and sectors is not easy. Fortunately, large companies like HSBC Holdings (LON:HSBA) are well covered by professional analysts who are used to making forecasts about them.
HSBC Holdings is one of just 200 shares in the UK market valued at more than £1.0 billion (its market cap is £107,137m). Shares like this are closely watched because they have an influential role in the performance of investment funds and pension portfolios held by millions of savers.
So how have the shares performed over the past year?
On a 12 month basis, the HSBC Holdings share price has seen an absolute move of 26.2%. On a relative basis - which take into account the movement of the wider market - the shares have moved by 30.3% over the past year and by 29.3% over the past six months.
But what now?
Do analysts rate it as a buy, sell or hold?
Regardless of recent performance, the main question is what the future holds. In uncertain economic conditions, it's often difficult to get an accurate view. The good news is that analysts generally have a solid understanding of the market's biggest businesses, so they are well-placed to make predictions. That shows up in their Buy, Hold and Sell recommendations.
Among the analysts covering HSBC Holdings, there are currently:
4 Buy recommendations
9 Hold recommendations
0 Sell recommendations
With this kind of information, it's possible to start forming a view about the outlook for any share. A combination of recent price performance and analyst recommendations gives you a flavour of whether the market is expecting a bright future - or whether there are causes for concern.
What does this mean for potential investors?
HSBC Holdings is one of the most closely watched shares in the market. But while price trends and broker recommendations can give you an idea about the sentiment around a stock, they can't tell you everything.
To get a better understanding of the overall investment case, it's worth doing some investigation yourself. Indeed, we've identified some areas of concern with HSBC Holdings that you can find out about here.