How do Equity Research Analysts use financial models?

Equity research analysts are tasked with providing an unbiased view of stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments. Sell-side analysts are typically employed by an investment bank and will usually cover one industry in depth. The analyst then makes specific recommendations to its clients and issues his reports publicly. Buy-side analysts on the other hand are employed by hedge funds or private equity funds and will cover a larger variety of companies than his sell-side counterpart. Instead of creating broad buy/sell recommendations to the public, the buy-side analyst’s research is tailored to the client’s suitability. In both cases, financial models are used to determine the effect of the company’s future performance on stock price and dividend growth (or lack thereof).