Consensus Estimate

What is a Consensus Estimate?

A consensus estimate is one of the best ways to get knowledge about the projected earnings of a specific public company. Here, reports of all the equity analysts covering the stock of the public company are analysed to work out the consensus estimate. The reports indicate the earnings per share of the company. The two things on the basis of which the consensus estimate is derived are the company’s size and the number of analysts that cover the company. However, these estimates are not accurate or precise as they depend on an array of factors like the prior financial statements of the company and products of the company. In case the company misses a consensus estimate, this can send the stock tumbling. On the other hand, if the results exceed the estimate, the company’s stocks may soar.

How Does a Consensus Estimate Work?

Consensus estimates are done by securities analysts when they make an earnings estimate about the company. The main objective of the estimate is to analyse and forecast the performance of companies. The estimate is done by reading disclosures, talking to management, studying the products and monitoring the industry. A detailed mathematical analysis is performed on the company, and this sheds light on how well a company could perform in the near future. Most companies use these estimates to sell or buy securities.

Consensus Estimates and Market (In) Efficiencies

Consensus estimates proves that the market is not always efficient. There are different factors that contribute to the inaccuracy of the market. Also they prove that the estimates regarding future events are not always precise. A missed consensus does not always affect the share price of the company. This is why consensus estimates are not always true indicators, as there can be market fluctuations and inefficiencies that can affect the stock price.

Frequently Asked Questions

The consensus estimate is calculated by taking into account the estimates for a particular stock given all the analysts who cover the company. The aim of the estimate is to give investors a general idea about how well the company will perform. To calculate the consensus, the average of all the analysts’ individual estimates is calculated. The resulting number is an estimate if the stock will perform well in the future.

A consensus price target in stocks is the average of all the individual price targets of the analysts. In simple terms, the price target in terms of consensus is the price at which an analyst believes a stock to be valued in the market. Studies show that the price targets are 30% accurate. Let’s take an example to understand the price target in stocks. When an analyst lowers the price target, then the analyst expects that the price will fall in the near future. On the other hand, raising the price target means that the analyst believes that the stock price will rise.

Consensus rating score is the average of multiple analysts ratings for one stock. For the calculation of the consensus rating score, all the earnings per share number  for a company for a set period are taken into consideration. For instance, if analysts believe that the earnings of the next three weeks will be $3.00, $2.70 and $3.20, the rating score is calculated by taking the average of all the earnings. The consensus estimate in this case will be ($3.00 + $2.70 + $3.20/3) = $2.97. The term is often referred to as consensus recommendations that give an opinion of stock performance over a certain period of time.

Zacks consensus estimate is the average of all current EPS estimates made by analysts regarding a stock. It is an estimate which reduces the risk of taking the figures of only a single analyst into account. The method is 70% accurate.

The simple formula to calculate Zacks consensus estimate is:


Market consensus is the simple average of all estimates given by analysts for the future stock performance. A total of 12 analysts perform the estimates in calculating the total market consensus evaluation. Also known as a simple consensus estimate, it shows the result of how a particular company will perform in the future. It gives a general idea to the investors of whether or not they should invest in the particular stock. Market consensus evaluation indicates whether you should buy or sell the stock in the market to generate profit.

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