Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Bloggers v. Pros on Apple: Another $2 billion revenue gap

April 14, 2011: 11:08 AM ET

With Q2 earnings due next week, the two groups of analysts are once again miles apart

Click to enlarge. Source: Alexis W. Cabot

The amateur analysts who follow Apple (AAPL) can afford to be more bullish than the professionals who do it for banks and brokerage houses. After all, unlike the sell-side analysts who are telling investors to buy the stock, they don't have clients who will be angry if the company doesn't exceed expectations.

But with Apple set to report its fiscal second-quarter earnings next Wednesday, the gap between bloggers and pros that we remarked on last quarter is even more stark this time around, as the EPS chart above, courtesy of Alexis Cabot, makes clear.

Among the 58 analysts we polled in advance of Wednesday's Q2 2011 earnings call -- 14 amateurs and 34 professionals -- the difference in their average revenue estimates, $25.25 billion and $23.26 billion, respectively, was $1.98 billion (8.53%), slightly smaller than last quarter. But in percentage terms, the gap between their EPS estimates -- $0.95 -- was even larger: a whopping 17.74%.

Ironically, it was a pro -- Sterne Agee's Shaw Wu -- who turned in the most bullish revenue estimate, $26.741 billion. CORRECTION: The most bullish estimate came, as usual, from an amateur: Traderhood's Nicolae Mihalache at $26.2 billion.

The most bearish estimate, $21.989 billion, comes from Goldman Sach's Bill Shope.

Below: The numbers we've gathered so far, along with each analyst's rank in last quarter's earnings smackdown. We'll find out who was closest to the mark after the closing bell on April 20.

For a deeper dive into the gap that separates the pros from the amateurs, see Daniel Tello's fascinating Which analysts are the biggest sandbaggers.

Analyst, affiliation Revenue (billions) EPS Date of est. Q1 rank
Nicolae Mihalache, Traderhood 26.20 6.67 3/27/11 4
Luke Kittell, Apple Finance Board 25.73 6.40 3/29/11 NA
Patrick Smellie, Apple Finance Board 25.72 6.35 3/25/11 1
Jeff Fidacaro, Susquehanna 25.68 5.72 3/25/11 31
Chas McKenna, Apple Finance Board 25.64 6.45 3/27/11 NA
Dennis Hildebrand, Apple's Gold 25.51 6.21 3/26/11 8
Daniel Tello, Deagol's AAPL Model 25.26 6.32 3/21/11 6
Robert Paul Leitao, Posts At Eventide 25.26 6.30 3/30/11 7
Adam Thompson, Apple Finance Board 25.18 6.20 3/22/11 NA
Jeff Fosberg, Apple Finance Board 25.00 6.34 3/27/11 9
Horace Dediu, Asymco 25.00 6.21 3/27/11 11
Alexis Cabot, Apple Finance Board 25.00 6.26 3/30/11 3
Turley Muller, Financial Alchemist 24.79 6.38 3/23/11 2
Andy Zaky, Bullish Cross 24.73 6.20 3/31/11 5
Robert Cihra, Caris 24.52 5.76 3/25/11 NA
Matthew Hoffman, Cowen & Co. 24.51 5.43 4/13/11 23
Mark Beauch, Apple Finance Board 24.42 5.87 3/29/11 21
Mike Abramsky, RBC Capital 24.01 5.75 4/12/11 14
Tavis McCourt, Morgan Keegan 23.99 5.72 3/25/11 35
Mark Moskowitz, J.P. Morgan 23.83 5.21 3/25/11 15
Toni Sacconaghi, Bernstein Research 23.80 5.75 3/2/11 30
Hendi Susanto, Gabelli & Co. 23.54 5.10 3/25/11 17
Peter Misek, Jeffries 23.50 5.44 4/13/11 NA
William Power, Baird 23.43 5.38 4/13/11 34
Charlie Wolf, Needham 23.41 5.11 3/29/11 41
Shannon Cross, Cross Securities 23.32 5.46 4/12/11 NA
Maynard Um, UBS 23.28 5.44 3/28/11 37
Shaw Wu, Sterne Agee 23.28 5.42 3/30/11 27
Brian Marshall, Gleacher & Co. 23.19 5.55 3/3/11 19
Andy Hargreaves, Pacific Crest 23.14 5.61 3/30/11 NA
Scott Craig, Merrill Lynch 23.14 5.63 3/21/11 16
Steven Fox, CLSA 23.00 5.44 3/29/11 NA
T. Michael Walkley, Canaccord Genuity 23.00 5.22 3/28/11 29
Rajesh Ghai, Think Equity 22.94 5.33 3/25/11 39
Yair Reiner, Oppenheimer 22.89 5.18 3/2/11 10
Chris Whitmore, Deutsche Bank 22.85 5.23 4/5/11 13
Scott Sutherland, Wedbush 22.82 5.05 3/3/11 24
Brian White, Ticonderoga 22.75 5.13 3/28/11 38
Ben Reitzes, Barclays Capital 22.70 5.10 4/13/11 25
Gene Munster, Piper Jaffray 22.68 5.11 3/25/11 33
Daniel Ernst, Hudson Square 22.65 4.95 1/19/11 28
Kathryn Huberty, Morgan Stanley 22.56 5.34 3/25/11 36
Ralph Schackart, William Blair 22.55 5.03 1/19/11 NA
William Fearnley, Janney Capital 22.22 4.99 1/19/11 26
Keith Bachman, BMO Capital 22.18 5.02 3/18/11 20
Richard Gardner, Citigroup 22.08 5.15 3/25/11 18
Alex Gauna, JMP Securities 22.00 5.10 3/16/11 NA
Bill Shope, Goldman Sachs 21.99 4.99 3/25/11 12

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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