Apple’s September quarter: Analysts, place your bets

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It’s not the earnings that matter to traders, it’s the guidance.


It’s earnings smackdown time again, with Apple set to report its June quarter Tuesday, July 31.

I’ll post my final fiscal Q3 spreadsheet tomorrow, but the topic here is fiscal Q4. The so-called guidance Apple gives analysts about what it expects for the September quater is what will probably determine whether Apple surprises nicely on the upside or takes an Amazon-size hit.

As I write this (before heading on the road), Above Avalon’s Neil Cybart was still putting together the color-coded guidance expectations meter that I like to repost. But he shared with subscribers last week that he was expecting guidance of $59 billion to $61 billion.

I’ve assembled below the individual estimates of 11 Wall Street professionals (blue), six independent analysts (green) and thrown in—just to drive the sticklers crazy— the averages posted on Estimize and Thompson Reuters (purple). Put it all together and you get a midpoint of $59.3 billion for revenue and $2.67 for EPS.

Click to enlarge.

My take: EPS growth of nearly 30% on sales growth of 13% ain’t bad.