1) Change in recommendation and targets - well, Analysts do this, don't they?
2) Trends in revenue and earnings, including forecast growth
3) Any significant change in financial figures as pointed out
4) Compare this report with your own knowledge to fill in the gaps (hey, you still need to do your homework by reading the annual reports and getting other intelligence)
5) Who is the Analyst? Position held? Experienced? Name constantly appeared in the reports?
6) Check other research reports if similar content appears. If not, does it differs too much?
7) Ask Broker on his/her opinion of the Analyst report (hope your Broker is friendly)
8) Email the direct source, the company for clarification and quote your sources from there
9) Qualitative overview - does it make sense to you? Can you visualize what will happen next?
10) Does the reports clearly state the anticipated challenges and risks?
For me, I do used the Analyst reports as a benchmarking tools. After all, they help me in my secondary research - that is the collection of some data points that are hard to get directly via public sources. These are useful to shape my personal conclusion.
On the other hand, target price is of very little importance to me. I will love the charts, figures and second thoughts on the company moving forward.
Unless I have the opportunity to seek trade interviews.