What Is the Institutional Brokers' Estimate System (IBES)?

What Is the Institutional Brokers' Estimate System (IBES)?

The Institutional Brokers' Estimate System (IBES) is a database of analyst forecasts and company guidance for over 23,000 public companies. In order to facilitate decision-making, it aggregates all accessible financial data about businesses and industries. The database includes equity analyst consensus and forward guidance. Historical data is available from 1976, when IBES was introduced, with international data available from 1987. Today, IBES is owned by Thomson Reuters.


The Institutional Brokers' Estimate System (IBES), also known as "I/B/E/S," is a database that provides future earnings estimates for publicly traded American companies. It is primarily used by brokers and active investors.

IBES Explained

At the heart of financial analysis lies IBES, an indispensable hub aggregating current analyst prognostications for stocks. Furthermore, it incorporates the corporate guidance, which includes the predictions on the forthcoming earnings that companies periodically reveal every quarter and year, subject to updates.

The embryonic stage of IBES surfaced in 1976 under the aegis of a brokerage entity, journeying through several hands before eventually finding a home at financial analytics titan Primark. The year 2000 witnessed its acquisition by Thomson Reuters.

Encompassing a panorama of data, the database houses both succinct overviews and intricate forecasts sourced from global behemoth brokerages and local autonomous analysts. Over 216 performance metrics spanning industries are tapped into: revenue, earnings per share, net debt, enterprise value, price targets, net income, and more. Users can easily analyze company projections by selecting different time intervals such as annual or fiscal quarter. Amid its repository lies analysts' counsel on whether to embrace, retain, or relinquish holdings in the companies they scrutineer.

The Practical Utilization of IBES

The central objective of IBES rests on establishing a streamlined and comprehensive framework to facilitate informed decisions concerning securities. This strategic tool transcends the confines of daily fluctuations in analysts' evaluations, offering access to a more encompassing consensus estimate.

A multitude of avenues exist for leveraging IBES. It is a foundational reference for constructing predictive models for earnings-per-share outcomes. Moreover, the database serves as a cornerstone for endeavors in accounting research.

IBES can be accessed via Thomson Reuters' subscription services such as Refinitiv, Thomson ONE, and Eikon platforms.

Diversified Offshoots of IBES

Within the realm of Thomson Reuters, IBES spawns various discrete databases. To illustrate, scholars at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania can access IBES guidance data and earnings projections, fostering meticulous appraisal of corporate anticipations. Simultaneously, an archival IBES database plays a pivotal role in gauging investment hypotheses.

IBES stands as one among several databases harnessed by fund managers and financiers. Notably, the Center for Research on Security Prices has forged databases encompassing stock prices, spanning daily and monthly market insights, research resources, and historical records.


The Institutional Brokers' Estimate System is a vital resource in the economic landscape, hosting analyst forecasts and company guidance for over 23,000 public companies. By aggregating diverse financial data, it empowers decision-makers and researchers. Since its inception in 1976, IBES has become a cornerstone of financial analysis, now under Thomson Reuters ownership. 

Institutional Brokers' Estimate System (IBES)
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