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The annual StarMine analyst awards for Canada are part of a global program that spans 15 regions, including Canada, the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Asia and Australia.

Thomson Reuters' StarMine rates equity analysts by measuring their performance based on the return of their stock recommendations and the accuracy of their earnings estimates.

Analysts are ranked according to how well the stocks they pick perform against a benchmark for their industry. To do the comparisons, StarMine creates a portfolio for each analyst based on his or her recommendations. For each "buy" recommendation, the portfolio is one unit long the stock and simultaneously one unit short the benchmark. The result gives the analyst credit for the amount by which the stock outperformed the benchmark. "Strong Buys" get a larger investment of two units long the stock and two units short the benchmark. "Holds" invest one unit in the benchmark, for an excess return of zero. "Sells" are the reverse: long the benchmark and short the stock. "Strong Sells" get a larger investment of two units long the benchmark and two short the stock.

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To qualify for an award, analysts must beat the benchmark for their industry. They also must have covered at least five stocks in a given industry. If an industry has fewer than 15 stocks, an analyst must have covered a minimum of three stocks or one-third of the stocks in the industry, whichever is greater.

The 2012 awards for Canada are based on the 2011 calendar year.

See a more detailed methodology here: 2011 StarMine Awards detailed methodology

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