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Morningstar Equity Research Methodology  View Morningstar Equity Research Methodology

S&P STARS Methodology -- Buy / Hold / Sell Definitions

BUY (5- and 4-STARS): Total return is expected to outperform the total return of a relevant benchmark over the coming 12 months, with shares rising in price on an absolute basis. (5 STARS - Strong Buy; 4 STARS-Buy)

HOLD (3-STARS): Total return is expected to closely approximate the total return of a relevant benchmark over the coming 12 months, with shares generally rising in price on an absolute basis.

SELL (2- and 1-STARS): Total return is expected to underperform the total return of a relevant benchmark over the coming 12 months, with shares not expected to show a gain (2 STARS - Sell). Total return is expected to under perform the total return of the appropriate benchmark over the next 12 months by a wide margin, with shares expected to fall in price on an absolute basis (1 STARS-Strong Sell).

Relevant benchmarks: In North America, the relevant benchmark is the S&P 500 Index; in Europe and in Asia, the relevant benchmarks are generally the S&P Europe 350 Index and the S&P Asia 50 Index.

The recommendations provided by S&P's Equity Research group are performed separately from any other activity of S&P. S&P Equity Research has no access to non-public information received by other units of S&P.

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Financial Times/StarMine
Ranked #1 Global Broker,
#1 US Broker;
#2 Europe Broker and
#5 Pan-Asia Broker;
received 42 individual
analyst awards (May 2009)

Forbes/Zacks
Best Brokerage for stock
picking and estimate
accuracy;  captured more
than twice the awards
of the runner-up.
Seven out of 12
analysts named
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Institutional Investor
Ranked #1 for
Pan European coverage
in the 2009 All-Europe
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