FORTUNE -- With one day to go before Apple (AAPL) is scheduled to report its earnings for the March quarter – Q2 in Apple's fiscal year -- the expectations of the analysts polled for Fortune's quarterly round-up are not high.
In fact, they're either flat or down across the board according to the 40 analysts we've heard from so far. (See Handicapping Apple's earnings.)
Earnings per share may come in higher -- 2.4% higher to $10.33, by the analysts' consensus -- but mostly because Apple has purchased enough of its own shares to lower the denominator in E/S from nearly a billion shares to less than 890 million.
As for revenue, most of our analysts (31 out to 40) are playing it safe, offering estimates within the range of Apple's guidance -- between $42 billion and $44 billion.
Seven think Apple will beat its revenue guidance -- by half to three-quarters of a billion dollars, according to Merrill Lynch's Scott Craig and the Braeburn Group's Patrick Smellie, respectively. Two analysts -- Credit Suisse's Kulbinder Garcha and the Braeburn Group's Sunil Shah -- think Apple's revenue may actually come in below the low end of Apple's guidance.
Of the four analysts, Merrill's Craig has the best track record. In last year's Earnings Smackdown he took first place with earnings and revenue estimates that were off by less than 1%.
None of Apple's hardware product lines is expected to show much growth this time around, and iPod sales may fall by more than 45% year over year.
In fact, the only Apple line item that is expected to show anything approaching steady growth is iTunes, Software and Services, and its growth is expected to decelerate from nearly 26% last year to less than half that. One factor slowing things down: Apple's decision to give away its productivity suite -- Pages, Numbers and Keynote -- for free.
Below: The individual analyst's Q2 2014 estimates, with the pros in blue, the indies in green (plus Apple's high and low guidance numbers in red). I'll run my quarterly Earnings Smackdown after Wednesday's earnings call and hope to post the quarter's list of the best and worst analysts Thursday morning.
Average estimate: $10.32 per share on sales of $43.5B. Apple's guidance: $42 to $44B.
FORTUNE -- Apple's (AAPL) share price got clobbered in after-hours trading three months ago when the company announced its earnings for the Christmas quarter. The problem was not the record sales of Macs, iPads and iPhones -- although the iPhone numbers came in a bit lighter than expected.
No, what knocked nearly $45 billion off Apple's market cap that night was MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 21, 2014 3:22 AM ET
The analysts' estimates range from 15 million to nearly 22 million. Average: 19.3 million.
FORTUNE --Although the heyday of the iPad -- when it basically owned the tablet computer market -- may be over, the product line is still Apple's (AAPL) second most important source of revenue, holding steady at roughly 20% of total sales.
With growing competition and the rise of the phablet (mini-tablets that double as phones), nobody is expecting a repeat of MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 18, 2014 6:57 AM ET
Without a new product, says a prominent amateur analyst, Apple may be stuck below 10%.
FORTUNE -- Robert Paul Leitao manages a Los Angeles Catholic Church by day, but his real devotion is to Apple (AAPL).
When I first met him, Leitao was running The Mac Observer's Apple Finance Board, which he moved to LinkedIn a few years ago and renamed AAPL Independent Analysts. He also founded the Braeburn Group, and every quarter he pulls together his members' estimates for Fortune's Apple MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 30, 2014 1:15 PM ET
Disappointed with iPhone sales. Spooked by second-quarter guidance.
FORTUNE -- The Christmas quarter was a complicated one for Apple (AAPL), with record iPhone sales that disappointed, record iPad sales at lower average prices, and guidance that alerted investors that they can look forward next report to the company's first year-over-year revenue decline in 11 years.
Most analysts did their best to explain the nuances behind the numbers Apple released Monday night, but there MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 28, 2014 10:53 AM ET
None of the analysts -- pros or indies -- got everything right this quarter.
FORTUNE -- This was tough quarter to call and none of the 47 Apple (AAPL) analysts we polled -- 29 professionals and 18 amateurs -- got everything right. Or even close to right.
Wells Fargo's Maynard Um, who came in first place on the top and bottom lines -- having missed EPS by only a penny -- came MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 28, 2014 7:52 AM ET
Can Cupertino still pull a rabbit out of the hat? We'll find out this afternoon.
FORTUNE -- "We believe fundamentally that people love surprises."
That was Tim Cook explaining to ABC's David Muir Friday why he wasn't going to answer any questions about future devices. Like Steve Jobs, Cook believes in the big reveal, on stage, with the global media watching -- at least when it comes to new products and services.
For quarterly financial MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 27, 2014 10:15 AM ET
The consensus forecast of 47 analysts: Earnings of $14.36 per share on sales of $58 billion.
FORTUNE -- The results of Fortune's quarterly survey of Apple (AAPL) analysts are in, and you could look at the findings -- depending on how full or empty your Apple glass happens to be -- as a shift to sustainable growth, a pause before the next big thing, or the end of a high-flying era.
The consensus estimates MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 26, 2014 2:19 PM ET
Goldman Sachs raised its revenue estimate by $1.26 billion; Credit Suisse by $2.73 billion.
FORTUNE -- One thing that jumps out at you when you're looking at a lot of Apple (AAPL) analysts' estimates -- as I have been for the past couple of weeks -- are those large, last-minute adjustments.
Sell-side analysts will often offer their clients one set of estimates a few weeks into the quarter and a second shortly MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 25, 2014 11:02 AM ET
Average estimate: $14.32 per share on sales of $57.9B. Apple's guidance: $55 to $58B.
FORTUNE -- On Monday, after the markets close, Apple (AAPL) is scheduled to announce its results for the first fiscal quarter of 2014, and we'll get to test not just the forecasts of our cadre of Apple analysts -- a mix of pros and amateurs -- but the accuracy of Apple's predictions under the new regime.
In the MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 24, 2014 9:52 AM ET
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