IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Reporting errors in the I/B/E/S earnings forecast database: J. Doe vs. J. Doe


  • Roger, Tristan


This paper provides evidence of systematic errors in the way I/B/E/S reports analyst earnings forecasts. Analysis of the I/B/E/S earnings forecast database over the 1982–2014 period pinpointed a lack of consistency in the identification of financial analysts, a number of whom are consequently (1) identified by several different codes, and (2) erroneously attributed forecasts that were issued by namesakes. The present empirical investigation reveals that over 10% of the analyst codes in the database are subject to such reporting errors. These reporting errors impact the evaluation of analysts’ characteristics, and may bias empirical studies that rely on tracking analysts.

Suggested Citation

  • Roger, Tristan, 2017. "Reporting errors in the I/B/E/S earnings forecast database: J. Doe vs. J. Doe," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 170-176.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:finlet:v:20:y:2017:i:c:p:170-176
    DOI: 10.1016/

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Galanti, Sébastien, 2016. "Archival data of financial analysts' earnings forecasts in the euro zone: Problems with euro conversions," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 466-473.
    2. Medovikov, Ivan, 2014. "Can analysts predict rallies better than crashes?," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 319-325.
    3. Harrison Hong & Terence Lim & Jeremy C. Stein, 2000. "Bad News Travels Slowly: Size, Analyst Coverage, and the Profitability of Momentum Strategies," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(1), pages 265-295, February.
    4. Karl B. Diether & Christopher J. Malloy & Anna Scherbina, 2002. "Differences of Opinion and the Cross Section of Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(5), pages 2113-2141, October.
    5. Emery, Douglas R. & Li, Xi, 2009. "Are the Wall Street Analyst Rankings Popularity Contests?," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(2), pages 411-437, April.
    6. Bosquet, Katrien & de Goeij, Peter & Smedts, Kristien, 2014. "Gender heterogeneity in the sell-side analyst recommendation issuing process," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 104-111.
    7. Clement, Michael B., 1999. "Analyst forecast accuracy: Do ability, resources, and portfolio complexity matter?," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 285-303, July.
    8. Jacob, John & Lys, Thomas Z. & Neale, Margaret A., 1999. "Expertise in forecasting performance of security analysts," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 51-82, November.
    9. Alexander Ljungqvist & Christopher Malloy & Felicia Marston, 2009. "Rewriting History," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(4), pages 1935-1960, August.
    10. Lin, Wen-Chun & Chang, Shao-Chi & Chen, Sheng-Syan & Liao, Tsai-Ling, 2013. "The over-optimism of financial analysts and the long-run performance of firms following private placements of equity," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 82-92.
    11. Clarke, Jonathan & Khorana, Ajay & Patel, Ajay & Rau, P. Raghavendra, 2007. "The impact of all-star analyst job changes on their coverage choices and investment banking deal flow," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 713-737, June.
    12. Mikhail, MB & Walther, BR & Willis, RH, 1997. "Do security analysts improve their performance with experience?," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35, pages 131-157.
    13. Harrison Hong & Jeffrey D. Kubik, 2003. "Analyzing the Analysts: Career Concerns and Biased Earnings Forecasts," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(1), pages 313-351, February.
    14. Gilles Hilary & Charles Hsu, 2013. "Analyst Forecast Consistency," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 68(1), pages 271-297, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. repec:dau:papers:123456789/15217 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Truc (Peter) Thuc Do & Huai Zhang, 2020. "Peer Effects among Financial Analysts," Contemporary Accounting Research, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 37(1), pages 358-391, March.
    3. Ramnath, Sundaresh & Rock, Steve & Shane, Philip, 2008. "The financial analyst forecasting literature: A taxonomy with suggestions for further research," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 34-75.
    4. Vadim S. Balashov & Zhanel B. DeVides, 2020. "Is Diversification A Job Safety Net For Sell‐Side Analysts?," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 43(3), pages 543-573, August.
    5. Tanja Klettke & Carsten Homburg & Sebastian Gell, 2015. "How to Measure Analyst Forecast Effort," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(1), pages 129-146, May.
    6. Tristan Roger, 2015. "Earnings Forecast Accuracy And Career Concerns," Post-Print hal-01483837, HAL.
    7. Beyer, Anne & Cohen, Daniel A. & Lys, Thomas Z. & Walther, Beverly R., 2010. "The financial reporting environment: Review of the recent literature," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2-3), pages 296-343, December.
    8. Bouteska Ahmed & Regaieg Boutheina, 2017. "The accuracy of financial analysts’ earnings forecasts and the Tunisian market reliance with time," Cogent Economics & Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(1), pages 1345186-134, January.
    9. Eugene Soon Lee Kang & Shun Yin Lam, 2017. "Contingent effects of firm and employee reputations on professional advice adoption," Service Business, Springer;Pan-Pacific Business Association, vol. 11(2), pages 345-373, June.
    10. Yu, Fang (Frank), 2008. "Analyst coverage and earnings management," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 245-271, May.
    11. Sean Cleary & Jonathan Jona & Gladys Lee & Joshua Shemesh, 2020. "Underlying risk preferences and analyst risk‐taking behavior," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(7-8), pages 949-981, July.
    12. Bok Baik & Kyonghee Kim & Richard Morton & Yongoh Roh, 2016. "Analysts’ pre-tax income forecasts and the tax expense anomaly," Review of Accounting Studies, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 559-595, June.
    13. Yuyan Guan & Congcong Li & Hai Lu & M. H. Franco Wong, 2019. "Regulations and Brain Drain: Evidence from Wall Street Star Analysts’ Career Choices," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 65(12), pages 5766-5784, December.
    14. Athanasakou, Vasiliki & Simpson, Ana, 2016. "Investor attention to rounding as a salient forecast feature," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 1212-1233.
    15. Pandit, Shailendra & Willis, Richard H. & Zhou, Ling, 2012. "Security analysts, cash flow forecasts, and turnover," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 874-890.
    16. Gilles Hilary & Charles Hsu & Rencheng Wang, 2014. "Management Forecast Consistency," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 163-191, March.
    17. Danling Jiang & Alok Kumar & Kelvin K. F. Law, 2016. "Political contributions and analyst behavior," Review of Accounting Studies, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 37-88, March.
    18. Boris Groysberg & Paul M. Healy & David A. Maber, 2011. "What Drives Sell‐Side Analyst Compensation at High‐Status Investment Banks?," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 969-1000, September.
    19. David P. Weber, 2009. "Do Analysts and Investors Fully Appreciate the Implications of Book†Tax Differences for Future Earnings?," Contemporary Accounting Research, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 26(4), pages 1175-1206, December.
    20. Roger K. Loh & René M. Stulz, 2018. "Is Sell‐Side Research More Valuable in Bad Times?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 73(3), pages 959-1013, June.
    21. Artur Aiguzhinov & Ana Paula Serra & Carlos Soares, 2016. "Are rankings of financial analysts useful to investors?," CEF.UP Working Papers 1604, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.

    More about this item


    Financial analysts; Earnings forecasts; I/B/E/S database; Reporting errors; Namesakes;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C8 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs
    • E17 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • G00 - Financial Economics - - General - - - General
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:finlet:v:20:y:2017:i:c:p:170-176. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Nithya Sathishkumar). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.