By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
April 2, 2013

FORTUNE — There should, in theory, be fewer surprises than usual three weeks from now when Apple (AAPL) releases the results of its second fiscal quarter of 2013.

In January the company changed the way it gives analysts guidance, replacing the “conservative” estimates of the past indicating what it had reasonable confidence of achieving with a range that reflects its belief of what it’s likely to achieve — in this case, revenues somewhere between $41 billion to $43 billion (compared with $39.2 billion last year) and gross margin between 37.5% and $38.5% (compared with 47.37%).

For the first time since he took the job, CFO Peter Oppenheimer did not offer earnings guidance — perhaps because Apple’s bottom line this quarter is likely to come up short compared with the same quarter last year. See Apple’s first quarter of negative income growth since 2003.

The conference call with analysts will be streamed live, starting at 5 p.m. ET (2 p.m. PT). Listen to the Audio Webcast.

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