High expectations, then a difficult compare.
With the world’s most valuable company—and the algorithms’ favorite punching bag—set to report earnings after the markets close today, the eyes of Wall Street are once again on Apple.
For shareholders, it’s been a frustrating three months.
The stock is back where it was at the end of April, after the launch of the Watch and the release of March quarter (fiscal Q2) blow-out results.
Although there’s a pretty broad consensus that earnings have actually accelerated since then—thanks almost entirely to the continued strength of iPhone 6/6+ sales—nobody really knows what the stock will do after June results come out today.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple’s shares set some new all-time record highs in the two months before the end of this fiscal year. Especially if the company beats expectations this afternoon. (Fortune‘s panel of 30 analysts has fiscal Q3 earnings at $1.89 per share on sales of $50.61 billion.)
After September, Apple faces what analysts call a difficult compare: Sales of 74.5 million iPhones in fiscal Q1 2015 and the biggest quarterly profit ever reported by any public company. After a quarter like that, year-over-year growth ain’t going to be easy.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves; we still haven’t heard last quarter’s results.
The spreadsheet below shows the individual estimates of Fortune‘s 30 analysts, with the pros in blue and the indies in green. We’ll find out who was closest to the mark today about half an hour after the markets close. I’ll be watching for the results and eavesdropping on the 5 p.m. ET (2 p.m. PT) analysts call. You can too. Here’s the link: Conference Call, Q3 – 2015.
Tomorrow I’ll post Fortune’s quarterly ranking of the best and worst Apple analysts. Stay tuned.
Click to enlarge.