Zacks Consensus Data - Estimates, Ratings, Target Prices, Surprises

Consensus estimates provide a forward looking view of company performance as forecasted by Wall Street analysts. In the short run, company stock prices are most affected by the extent to which they meet, beat, or miss their consensus estimates. In 1981, Zacks began processing, organizing and evaluating research produced by US brokerage firms.


Today, Zacks receives daily electronic data feeds and printed research reports from over 185 US and Canadian brokerage firms, produced by more than 2,600 analysts amounting to over 500,000 pages of brokerage research. A complete list of contributing brokers is available upon request. From the individual estimates provided, Zacks calculates consensus estimates and ratings for about 4,500 US and Canadian firms that have at least one sell-side analyst covering them. We calculate consensus estimates for EPS, Revenue, Target Price, Long Term Growth Rates, and Broker Ratings. Zacks maintains a history of annual EPS estimates going back to 1979 and quarterly estimates going back to 1982. Zacks consensus ratings history goes back to 1985. Consensus Sales estimates and Price Targets are maintained back to 2000. For a more detailed description of how the Zacks consensus figures are defined, compiled and maintained, you can download the Zacks Consensus FAQ below.


EPS Estimates


Earnings per share estimates are analysts' opinions of how much profit a company will show based on factors such as management, anticipated sales, demand, competition, and overall economic conditions. This is the main benchmark against which actual earnings are measured.



Daily Consensus Estimates - Observation Date, Estimate Type, Annual/Quarterly/LTG, Mean, High, Low, Standard Deviation, Number of Brokers, Number of Upward Estimates, Number of Downward Estimates



Annual and LTG - 1979 to Present - Monthly, Weekly, Daily Frequency

Quarterly - 1984 to Present - Monthly, Weekly, Daily Frequency


Sales Estimates & Price Targets


Many sell-side brokerage analysts will augment their earnings estimate with estimates of sales levels and future stock price levels. Sales estimates are particularly useful in valuing stocks of companies that are still in their startup phase and may not yet be profitable. Price targets are estimates of the price that analysts expect a stock to sell for a some point within the next 12 months based on recent sales and earnings trends.



Consensus Sales Estimates - Estimate Date, Estimate Type, Annual/Quarterly/LTG, Prior Estimate, New Consensus Estimate

Price Targets - Mean Estimate, Standard Dev, # Analysts, Highest, Lowest



Sales Estimates - 2000 to Present - Monthly, Weekly, Daily Frequency

Price Targets - 2000 to Present - Monthly, Weekly, Daily Frequency


EPS Surprises, Pre-Announcements & Actuals


Companies report their EPS figures quarterly that will either differ or mirror the consensus estimates (those estimates that analysts have compiled) which reveal the economic well being of a company. The stock price usually reacts immediately. If the actual reported EPS is greater than the EPS estimate (positive EPS surprise), the stock price will generally rise, and if the actual earnings fail to meet the consensus earnings estimates, the stock prices will generally fall (negative EPS surprise). A company that has a consistent track record of beating their consensus EPS estimates will generally do well over time. Pre-Announcements are forecasts announced by companies that provide an indication to investors of what their upcoming earnings results will likely be. These figures are usually given in the form of a narrow range in which the actual earnings figure will most likely fall. To the extent that the midpoint of this range is significantly different than the current EPS consensus estimate, this type of announcement will be considered a “pre-announcement surprise”. Recent research has indicated that pre-announcement surprises often have a greater short term effect on stock prices than subsequent actual earnings surprises.



Earnings & Sales Surprises - Report Date, Entry Date, Fiscal Quarter Reported, Actual, Consensus on Report Date, Surprise %, Standard Dev. of Consensus, Number of Estimates, Adjustment to Actual, Estimate Date, Prior Estimate, and New Estimate.



Earnings Surprises - 1994 to Present

Sales Surprises - 2001 to Present

Pre-Announcements - 2002 to Present


Brokerage Ratings


In addition to forecasting future earnings, sales and price levels, most sell-side analysts will issue a recommendation or rating on whether or not to trade a stock based on their perception of its near-term money making potential. Changes in brokerage ratings often have an immediate impact on the price of a stock. This data can be delivered either as a text based media feed or as a data file.



Consensus Rating - Observation Date, Average Rating, Number with Strong Buy/Buy/Hold/Sell/Strong Sell, Number of Analysts with Rating.



1985 to Present - Monthly, Weekly, Daily Frequency

Zacks Consensus Data FAQ
Zacks Consensus FAQ.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [67.8 KB]