Explanation of RBC Capital Markets Equity Rating System

An analyst's "sector" is the universe of companies for which the analyst provides research coverage. Accordingly, the rating assigned to a particular stock represents solely the analyst's view of how that stock will perform over the next 12 months relative to the analyst's sector average. Although RBC Capital Markets' ratings of Top Pick (TP)/Outperform (O), Sector Perform (SP), and Underperform (U) most closely correspond to Buy, Hold/Neutral and Sell, respectively, the meanings are not the same because our ratings are determined on a relative basis.


  • Top Pick (TP): Represents analyst's best idea in the sector; expected to provide significant absolute total return over 12 months with a favorable risk-reward ratio.
  • Outperform (O): Expected to materially outperform sector average over 12 months.
  • Sector Perform (SP): Returns expected to be in line with sector average over 12 months.
  • Underperform (U): Returns expected to be materially below sector average over 12 months.

Risk Rating:

As of March 31, 2013, RBC Capital Markets suspends its Average and Above Average risk ratings. The Speculative risk rating reflects a security's lower level of financial or operating predictability, illiquid share trading volumes, high balance sheet leverage, or limited operating history that result in a higher expectation of financial and/or stock price volatility.