Apple’s blow-out quarter: The bloggers called it, the Street blew it
In the quarterly battle between outsiders and the insiders, it’s the amateurs by a mile
This one wasn’t even close.
In our ranking of the best and worst Apple AAPL analysts for Q1 2011, which lists them based on how accurately they predicted seven key numbers — revenue, earnings, gross margins and unit sales — the unaffiliated analysts (blue in the chart at right) took 9 out of the 10 top spots.
The bottom 20 spots were all held by professionals working for the banks and brokerage houses. Taken as a whole, the numbers they sent their paying clients were off by a margin (9.04%) more than twice as big as those generated by the guys who do it for free (3.94%).
They included some spectacular misses:
Needham’s Charlie Wolf, who underestimated Apple’s revenues by $3.73 billion and its iPad sales by more than 2 million units
Sterne Agee’s Vijay Rakesh, who predicted that Apple would sell 7.95 million fewer iPods than they did.
Morgan Keegan’s Travis McCourt, who missed Apple’s earnings by $1.79 a share and its iPhone sales by 2.24 million units.