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Finance Glossary

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Over 700 finance terms, Shmooped to perfection.

Analyst Expectation

Definition:

Analysts and the rest of the Wall Street community spend a lot of time eagerly waiting for reports and financial information with the same eagerness your local Comic-Con goers await the newest Star Wars release. And both sci-fi junkies and analysts have lots of expectations. The sci-fi fans might expect the latest special effects, while money guys might expect that companies will post certain earnings or other data.

Analyst expectation is also known as "Street Numbers," and it refers to the numbers that money folks think a company will post for their quarterly earnings or other estimates—before said company actually posts the numbers.

Example

Let's say Cisco has told the Wall Street analysts (employees who work for brokerage houses to provide "expert" advice to investors) that it expects to earn 40–45 cents a share on $10.5–11 billion in revenues. One analyst publishes that they expect 43 cents on $10.652 billion; another analyst publishes that they expect 40 cents on $11.1 billion, etc.

See Whisper Number, Buy Side, and Sell Side for more gory details.