Just because Tim Cook prefers to be straight with analysts — offering them more “realistic” revenue guidance than the low-ball numbers Steve Jobs used to feed them — doesn’t mean Apple can’t deliver earnings surprises anymore.
In April, for example, Apple reported fiscal Q2 earning per share of $1.66 (adjusted for June’s 7-to-1 split), nearly 15% above the Street’s $1.45 consensus.
Apple doesn’t give EPS guidance anymore, but for the quarter that ended June 28 the company told the Street to expect revenues to come in between $36 billion and $38 billion.
The consensus among the more than two dozen analysts polled by Fortune — 15 Wall Street professionals and 12 amateurs — is that Apple will report revenues of $38.4 billion. The amateurs, as usual, are more bullish than the pros, although the gap between the two has narrowed considerably over the past two and a half years.
We’ll find out who was closest to the mark when Apple reports its fiscal Q3 2014 earnings after the markets close on Tuesday.
Below: Their recent track records.