How to research companies in Online Share Trading

When you log in to Online Share Trading, you’ll find a wide range of tools, reports and other resources available to help you make informed investment decisions. This guide will walk you through how to go about researching a company using the resources available in Online Share Trading.

Doing your research is time well-spent

Every investor should do their own research before investing and there are many ways you can do this, from searching Google to talking to a financial adviser.

Within Online Share Trading you'll also find a number of resources available to help you with this task, including stock details, company announcements, charts, pricing information, as well as Morningstar recommendations and research reports.

You may find this information helps you make investment decisions, but before you get started, there are some important principles to understand first:

  • A company’s past performance doesn’t necessarily indicate it will achieve the same results in the future.
  • Experts cannot guarantee how the market will respond to any event. What they can do is give you a recommendation based on their experience from studying the marketplace.
  • We provide easy access to industry-leading information, but we don’t endorse that information. You must always use your own judgement before investing.

Get the latest news sent to you

A smart place to start your research is by understanding what’s happening in the market place. You can do this by subscribing to our market reports.

There is a wide range of reports you can subscribe to, but to start with you might find these three useful:

ASB Securities Morning Brief - Get our daily report on the latest share market news from a variety of sources.

Markets Monthly - Get a wide overview of trends and events that have occurred in financial markets over the previous month.

Two other ASB reports that investors find useful are:

Economic Note - up-to-date information on any important events affecting the financial markets.

Quarterly Economic Report - Commentary on macro-economic trends, including forecasts for growth, inflation, wholesale interest rates and wholesale exchange rates.

Look at a stock in more detail

Finding out key details about a stock can be time-consuming, but there is an easier way. Simply use the ‘Company search’ feature within Online Share Trading and you’ll find a rich source of information, including:


Detailed key performance measures, company announcements and stock market pricing data.


A selection of popular charts with the ability to view up to 10 years history, which you can use to analyse the market and inform your investment decisions.


See a snapshot of the investors who have orders on the market to buy and sell the stock, at various prices. It shows the current supply and demand for a stock and this can be helpful information to review before placing an order.


A list of company details, including a description of the business, the sector it operates in, when it was first listed, executive staff, and more.


An overview of the company, its performance and the latest recommendations.


The latest recommendation report by Morningstar, with their pick whether to buy, accumulate, hold, reduce, sell or avoid the stock.

Research PDF

The latest business summary report by Morningstar, which includes key information that their own analysts use to make their recommendations.

Stay informed with research from Morningstar

Many investors use Morningstar as a source of market news and analysis for medium to long term investments in securities. The focus of the Morningstar research is mainly on Australian shares, but they provide research and recommendations on many New Zealand shares as well.

We don’t review or endorse the information Morningstar provides, rather we offer their research as a service to help you make informed decisions.

Morningstar give the stock they analyse one of seven qualitative recommendations. These are:

What it means
Suitable for purchase now
Undervalued but there is time to purchase
Appropriately priced, neither buy nor sell
Sell part holding
Sell all holdings now
Not investment grade
This stock is under review and Morningstar don’t have a recommendation

Understanding a Morningstar recommendation

Before using a Morningstar recommendation to help inform your investment decision, it helps to understand their research methodology and investment fundamentals first.

When you understand how they make a recommendation you can consider if it suits your investment strategy.

Understanding the following terms will help you to interpret their recommendations and reports.


Moats are a strategic advantage that protects a business from its competitors. A wide moat is harder to overcome than a narrow moat, and no moat means a company has no significant advantages over competitors.

An example of a wide moat could be a pharmaceutical company that holds the patent to a range of popular medications.

Intrinsic value (otherwise known as Far or Underlying value)

Intrinsic value is the analyst’s interpretation of what the stock is worth today. If the market price is below this value, it’s considered undervalued; above and it’s thought to be overvalued.

Business risk

Business risk covers all operational and financial risk. Companies with low business risk have the most reliable earnings streams.

Pricing risk

Pricing risk reflects the premium or discount implied in the current price of the shares. Many growth stocks trade on high earnings multiples giving them high pricing risk though they may have low business risk.

Get the most out of Online Share Trading

Research is just one way we can help you make informed investment decisions. You’ll also find guides on a selection of the powerful tools you’ll find inside Online Share Trading that can help. If you haven’t already, it’s a good idea to read our guides on Watchlists, Portfolios and Charts.

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ASB Securities Limited is an NZX firm. When you trade on the NZX markets through ASB Securities you must comply with NZX rules as outlined in the ASB Securities Trading Conduct for Online Share trading. ASB Securities terms and conditions apply. Pricing data supplied by ASX and/or NZX. ASB Cash Management Account, ASB Foreign Currency Account, ASB Margin Lending and ASB Term Deposits are provided by ASB Bank Limited. ASB term's apply. Rates and fees may change. Refer to asb.co.nz for other fees and charges. This page does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader. As individual circumstances differ, you should seek appropriate professional advice. See the ASB Securities glossary for share trading and investment terms or Morningstar for research terms. 

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