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It has been a wild ride for some of the UK's biggest quoted companies over the past year. Economic uncertainty persists and the question on the minds of many investors is where the prices of stocks like HSBC Holdings (LON:HSBA) will go from here.
HSBC Holdings is one of a surprisingly small number of special shares on the London Stock Exchange that have market valuations in excess of £1 billion. The stock currently has a market capitalisation of £106,563m.
These large-cap shares are closely watched because they have an important influence on the investment funds and pension portfolios of millions of savers. So amid the uncertainty, how has the stock fared?
Over the past 12 months, the HSBC Holdings share price has seen an absolute move of 18.7%. On a relative basis - which take into account the movement of the wider market - the shares have moved by 15.8% over the past year and by 21.9% 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 for investors 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 understand the market's biggest businesses better than most, 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:
3 Buy recommendations
10 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.