This is more to do with the accountability practice of brokerage firm. Analyst tends to behave as a horde as there is no risk being wrong when everyone other analyst is wrong. They don’t have stake in their recommendation and hence they are player “without-skin-in-the-game”. One should never ever trust guys with “without-skin-in-the-game” syndrome.
There are couple of more issues with the future predictions in stock market beautifully described in Howard Marks’ memo. Like most of the future predictions are nothing but past data extrapolation with suitably trimmed information to look it believable. Plus when the reports are available in open, there is very less chance of getting substantial profit out of it.
Hence as you said, the only way is to do your own homework, try to build the concept by reading books, and learn by looking/analyzing stock picking, buy/sell approach of the seniors who have skin-in-the-game and are known for the awesome skills in stock market.
http://www.moneylife.in/article/how-nomuras-rating-remained-buy-and-hold-while-tulip-telecom-wilted-from-rs180-to-rs11/31319.html Link: http://www.moneylife.in/article/how-nomuras-rating-remained-buy-and-hold-while-tulip-telecom-wilted-from-rs180-to-rs11/31319.html