Best and worst Apple analysts: Blockbuster Q2 edition

As regular readers know, we run a quarterly “earnings smackdown,” pitting the professional analysts who cover Apple for institutions against a group of amateurs (and semi-pros) who do it for their own pleasure and, we hope, profit.

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 10.03.28 AM This was one of those quarters where the congenitally bullish amateurs made the cautious pros look bad.

In some cases, really bad. The chart at right ranks this quarter’s 37 participants — 23 pros and 14 amateurs — by the accuracy of their estimates for the top and bottom lines (revenue and earnings per share).

This quarter, nine of the 10 worst performances were turned in by pros and seven of the top 10 best performances by amateurs.

For another view of how the estimates shook out, see the chart below, where most of the red (worst) estimates landed in the pros’ half and most of the green (best) fell in the amateurs’.

Special mentions:

  • Kudos to Chuck Jones of Sand Hill Insights for best estimates of Apple’s top and bottom lines and to Above Avalon’s Neil Cybart for taking the top spot in “all categories.”
  • Shout-outs to the Braeburn Group’s Robert Paul Leitao and StockChart’s Daya Baran for missing by a hair unit sales for the iPhone and Mac, respectively.
  • A double wedgie for BTIG’s Walter Piecyk who not only came in last, but for the second quarter in a row turned in the worst estimate for iPhone sales — off this time by more than 11 million units.

Below: Our annotated master spreadsheet, with the best estimates highlighted in bright green, the second and third best in light green, the worst in red and the second and third worst in pink.

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 3.42.07 PM

Click to enlarge.

Thanks once again to Posts at Eventide‘s Robert Paul Leitao for pulling together the Braeburn Group numbers.

Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter at @philiped. Read his Apple (AAPL) coverage at or subscribe via his RSS feed.

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