Apple Q3 2011 earnings preview

Estimates from 48 analysts forecast earnings growth between 50% and 107% year over year

This was a busy week for last-minute revisions from the Wall Street analysts that follow Apple . The spreadsheet above shows the final estimates we've collected -- barring still more revisions -- from four dozen amateurs and professionals, along with each analyst's rank, where available, in our earnings smackdowns for Q1 and Q2.

An amateur, Traderhood's Nicolae Mihalache, has the most bullish estimates, calling for earnings of $7.28 on revenues of $28.67 billion, up 107% and 83%, respectively. But for once the pros aren't far behind, led by J.P. Morgan's Mark Moskowitz. And even the most bearish estimates, from Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty, would represent earnings and revenue growth of more than 50% apiece. [UPDATED 7/15 with new numbers from Technology Insight's Nehal Chokshi. And again 7/18 with updates from Financial Alchemist's Turley Muller, BGC's Colin Gillis and Baird's William Power. And finally on 7/19 with numbers from Bernstein's Toni Sacconaghi.]

We'll find out whose estimates were closest to the mark when Apple releases its earnings for its third fiscal quarter of 2011 after the markets close Tuesday, July 19. A conference call with analysts is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. EST (2 p.m. PST). The session, which is expected to last one hour, will be webcast here.

We'll compare the estimates to the actual results and publish our findings Wednesday morning.

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