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 results -- like the ones Apple (AAPL) is scheduled to release after the markets close today -- Cook seems to prefer playing it safe.
While Jobs was running the show, Apple was famous for low-balling quarterly earnings and astonishing Wall Street three months later when the results came in. But that only works if 1) the Street doesn't get wise and 2) the results actually are astonishing, which in recent quarters they haven't been.
So in 2013, Cook changed the game. For the last three quarters, Apple has offered analysts a range of guidance numbers and reported results at or near the top end of that range.
Most analysts surveyed -- both by Fortune and by Thomson Financial, expect Apple to do the same today. Apple guided revenues for fiscal Q1 2014 between $55 billion and $58 billion. The Street's consensus, according to Thomson, is $57.46 billion. In our survey, it's $58.10.
Could this quarter be different? A lot of Apple investors certainly hope so. And so do Bernstein's Toni Sacconaghi and Credit Suisse's Kulbinder Garcha. They're betting Apple will beat the top end of its guidance range by $1.32 billion and $1.88 billion, respectively. See Spreadsheet of the day: Final estimates for Apple's fiscal Q1 2014.
And what about next quarter? We haven't started gathering March numbers yet, but according to Thomson Financial, the Street is looking for Q2 earnings of $10.93 on sales of $47.05 billion.
The way Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster figures it, that means Apple's Q2 2014 guidance range will be $44-$47 billion.
Anything higher would be a surprise.
Apple's earnings will be released on the business wires at about 4:30 p.m. Eastern. The earning call with analysts begins at 5 p.m. We'll be tuning in. You can too. Click here.
Below: A summary of our survey results.
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
On Monday, Apple will release its fiscal Q4 results. Some analysts have already moved on.
FORTUNE -- Bullish Cross' Andy Zaky, whose rise and spectacular fall as an Apple (AAPL) hedge fund manager is the stuff of investor legend, no longer cares what the company says on Monday about last quarter's sales and earnings.
And that's quite a change.
It was Zaky who first started pitting amateur Apple analysts against Wall Street's professionals MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 27, 2013 10:37 AM ET
The Street's expectations for fiscal Q3 2013 are down at least 5% since early March
FORTUNE -- Although Apple (AAPL) investors are plenty nervous about next week's March quarter earnings report, the stock's drop to 16-month lows this week may have more to do with jitters about the next report -- the one for the quarter that ends in June.
The Street's consensus as of Friday, according to Thomson Financial's survey of MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 20, 2013 8:26 AM ET
Over the past 8 quarters, it beat its EPS estimate by 42%, revenue by 18%
FORTUNE -- When it reports its results for the March quarter this afternoon, Apple (AAPL) will also release forward-looking statements about the June quarter in the form of three numbers: its guidance for revenue, earnings and gross margin.
The numbers Apple issues tend to be laughably conservative; the company always prefers to under- rather than over-promise. Nonetheless its MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 24, 2012 8:15 AM ET
What to make of those pesky forward-looking statements in today's earnings report
It used to be that traders rewarded or punished Apple's (AAPL) shares right after its earnings releases based not on the sales it reported for the past quarter, but on what the company said about the quarter to come. Apple tends to "guide conservatively," in the jargon of the trade, which Wall Street often interpreted as a disappointment.
But that MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 24, 2012 7:24 AM ET
A big Q3 is a given. Just look at what the stock has done lately. But the devil is in the details
The Street has fallen back in love with Apple (AAPL). "Get ready for the return of the wow factor," J.P. Morgan's Mark Moskowitz told clients last week just before the stock put the finishing touches on a 28-day, $58.48 (18.5%) run that took it to $373.80 Monday afternoon, an MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 19, 2011 7:48 AM ET
What to watch for Monday when the company reports its fiscal fourth quarter earnings
Apple's (AAPL) shares have been on a tear since late August, soaring nearly $75 (more than 30%) to close Friday at an all-time record $314.74.
Whether that proves to be the top of a long bull run or the start of an even bigger one depends on how investors react to the results scheduled to be released at MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 18, 2010 6:53 AM ET
Analysts either don't believe Apple's revenue guidance, or they're deliberately low-balling it
Anybody who follows its earnings reports can tell you that Apple (AAPL) guides conservatively, under-estimating its forward-looking numbers to demolish them at the end of the quarter.
Only once in the past 23 quarters -- in the summer of 2006 -- did it miss its revenue guidance, by 0.7%. In the other 22 the company beat its MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 25, 2010 6:13 AM ET
How to make sense of the forward-looking statements in next week's earnings report
If history is any guide, traders will reward or punish Apple's (AAPL) shares in after-hours trading Monday based not on the quarterly earnings it reports, but on what the company says about the quarter to come -- which will almost certainly be disappointing.
You would think by now that Wall Street had figured out that Apple guides conservatively -- MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 15, 2009 7:31 AM ET
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