The research, compiled by Hill & Knowlton and MORI, shows corporate reputation and perceived leadership quality have a critical influence on analysts' ratings.
The most important factor considered by analysts when making their recommendations is quality of management, cited by 53 per cent of respondents (see chart).
News flow and communications channels came fifth, with six per cent saying they were critical factors.
‘Listed companies today need to promote the experience and expertise of senior management to inspire trust in analysts, and consequently investors,' said H&K head of corporate practice, EMEA, Andrew Pharoah.
More than 90 per cent of analysts rated the reputation of a firm's CEO, CFO and COO as ‘important' to their decision making. The reputations of business unit leaders, chairmen and the board of directors were seen as less important.
The survey polled 282 analysts globally with more than two years' experience.
Twenty-one per cent of Europe-based analysts said a CEO who focused on societal issues was ‘important' or ‘very important' for a company.
Just nine per cent of analysts based outside of Europe rated such CEOs as ‘important' or ‘very important' to a company.