Today should be a busy day on the Apple beat.
- Apple Pay goes live with the release of iOS 8.1, along with the launch of iCloud Photo Library and a functioning Handoff (which, for many of us on Yosemite, still isn't working).
- We should get some details about iPhone 6/6+ first-weekend sales in China, where every configuration is currently out of stock.
- Capping it off, CEO Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri will host a 5 pm ET conference call with analysts to discuss last quarter's earnings and offer guidance for the big holiday quarter coming up.
Here I've got the fiscal Q4 estimates of 33 Apple analysts -- 21 professionals and 12 amateurs. They are all to a man (and one woman) predicting record Q4 sales and earnings (up 7.1% and 11.9%, respectively).
The range between high and low and amateur and pro is a good deal narrower than it was six years ago when I began this quarterly exercise. Back then, Steve Jobs was still low-balling Apple's guidance to heighten the quarterly surprise and subscription accounting of iPhone sales still confused a lot of analysts -- especially the pros.
But Apple hasn't lost the ability to surprise. I'll be watching the results come in -- usually about half and hour after the markets close -- and eavesdropping on the 5 pm. ET analysts call. You can too. Link: Financial results Q4 2014.
Below: The individual analyst’s estimates, with pros in blue and indies in green. I’ll run my quarterly Earnings Smackdown after the earnings call and post the best-and-worst analyst rankings Tuesday morning.
Click to enlarge.
Thanks once again to Posts at Eventide‘s Robert Paul Leitao for pulling together the Braeburn Group numbers.