Analysts rely heavily on professional analytical tools such as those provided by Morningstar (MORN). But it's not only professional analysts who get to experience the best that Morningstar offers; individual investors can too. Morningstar delivers a premium version that provides subscribers with the advantage of analyst reports and various screeners for stocks or mutual funds. But even the free version furnishes users with a plethora of analytical and tracking tools. Below is a guide to the free basic Morningstar tools.

Top Tools

Morningstar makes available the following data and services:

  • Corporate Earnings: Included in this section is the Morningstar Transcript Center, which gives a written transcript of earnings conference calls and an Earnings Calendar to assist in keeping track of earnings announcement dates.
  • Performance Center: Lists market movers, from those making new highs or lows to the biggest gainers or losers, as well as index data.
  • Insider Activity: Shows top insider trades as well as recent purchases and sales.
  • Stock Charts: Users view stock charts from a price, fundamental and technical perspective. Investors can choose charts based on fundamental characteristics such as valuation, growth and financial/return measures. From the technical side, investors can access indicators, moving averages and MA (moving average) envelopes. It even allows users to input other tickers to compare charts.

In addition, useful tools for analysts are found under the Analyst Commentary sections. Here investors can find information and data related to:

  • Seven-Day Commentary Archive: This section includes Morningstar analysts’ commentary. Although this information may differ in content and opinion from other analysts, it usually provides useful data on companies, industries and competitors.
  • Stock Strategists: This section informs about the most recent company news that may impact stock performance in the short or long term.
  • Industry Reports: These give investors a picture of the industry operating environment, competitors, key metrics and other such data, which paints the landscape so investors can really understand the business and other ancillary or peripheral data or information that may impact it.
  • Quarterly Market Commentary: This reviews the markets from a historical basis, which may help to frame company performance and put earnings in perspective.

Bottom Line

Even without paying the additional fees for the premium version, Morningstar supplies many analytical tools that when used together can endow any investor with the knowledge necessary to paint a clearer investment picture.

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