DEFINITION of 'Analyst Expectation'
A report issued by an individual analyst, investment bank or financial services company indicating how a particular company's stock will perform in the coming quarter. Analysts provide guidance as to how they expect a company to perform. This is typically a range of values that a particular variable is expected to fall between. If a stock peforms better than than what analysts expected, it is considered to have "beat expectations" or delivered stronger-than-expected results.
BREAKING DOWN 'Analyst Expectation'
Publicly-traded companies also issue their own guidance outlining expected future profits or losses. This forecast helps financial analysts set their own expectations, and can be compared to analyst expectations to get a better idea of potential company performance in the upcoming quarter.