The blogger-analysts say damn straight. The Street isn’t far behind
Wall Street was more than a little skeptical in July when Apple AAPL CFO Peter Oppenheimer offered his revenue guidance for the quarter that ended two weeks ago: $18 billion — a 47% increase from Sept. 2009.
“We hadn’t girded ourselves for a mammoth revenue forecast,” wrote Oppenheimer’s Yair Reiner the next day, “and neither, we believe, had the Street.”
Like most analysts who follow Apple, Reiner assumed that Oppenheimer had abandoned his usual practice of low-balling the company’s forward-looking statements and was trying to blow a little smoke up the Street’s skirt. In the previous three quarters, Apple had beaten its own revenue guidance by an average of 19.3%. That would suggest actual Q4 revenues of nearly $21.5 billion — a number Financial Alchemist‘s Turley Muller described at the time as “too mind-blowing to even contemplate.”
Three months and a few million iPhones and iPads later, most Apple watchers have changed their tune.
Of the nine blogger-analysts we polled, all but two expect Apple to report earnings of $20 billion or more, including Muller who’s put his marker on $20.313 billion. Among the 21 professional analysts polled, only one –Rodman & Renshaw’s Ashok Kumar — has crossed that divide. On Thursday, Reiner hiked his estimate to $19.864 billion. The Street’s consensus is $18.76 billion.
In the chart above, we’ve combined the pros and the bloggers to get an average estimate of $19.34 billion.
Below: The revenue and earnings-per-share numbers we’ve gathered so far. We’ll find out whose were closest after the closing bell on Monday Oct. 18th.
Robert Paul Leitao, Apple Finance Board
Nicolae Mihalache, Traderhood
Daniel Tello, Deagol’s AAPL Model
Horace Dediu, Asymco
Alexis Cabot, Apple Finance Board
Turley Muller, Financial Alchemist
Jeff Fosberg, Apple Finance Board
Dennis Hildebrand, Apple’s Gold
Andy Zaky, Bullish Cross
Wall Street Analysts
Ashok Kumar, Rodman & Renshaw
Yair Reiner, Oppenheimer
Robert Cihra, Caris & Co.
Shaw Wu, Kaufman Bros.
Chris Whitmore, Deutsche Bank
Ben Reitzes, Barclays Capital
Scott Craig, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch
Doug Reid, Stifel Nicholaus
Rajesh Ghai, Think Equity
Jeff Fidacaro, Susquehanna
Keith Bachman, BMO Capital
Ralph Schackart, William Blair
Matthew Hoffman, Cowen & Co.
T. Michael Walkley, Canaccord Genuity
Mark Moskowitz, J.P. Morgan
Alex Gauna, JMP Securities
Brian Marshall, Gleacher & Co.
Kathryn Huberty, Morgan Stanley
William Fearnley, Janney Capital
Nehal Chokshi, Technology Insights
Tavis McCourt, Morgan Keegan
Gene Munster, Piper Jaffray
. . .
[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]