This is the average estimate of Earnings Per Share (EPS) for a company. The consensus estimate is found by averaging top analysts EPS figures. This is used as a benchmark for the actual earnings report. For example, should analysts have a consensus estimate of 10 cents a share for company XYZ, and company XYZ report actual earnings of 13 cents a shares, it is said that the company beat estimates by 3 cents. The outcome of actual earnings numbers versus estimates, can have a substantial impact on share price.