Some of the worst were much-improved this quarter. Others have a lot to answer for.
Although they were once again bested by the amateurs in last week's Apple (AAPL) earnings smackdown -- as they have been every quarter since we've been keeping track -- it was not all bad news for the Wall Street analysts who are paid to predict the company's quarterly results.
As the spreadsheet at right shows, most of them improved the accuracy of their estimates, some quite dramatically.
The biggest gains, expressed as average revenue and earnings error reduction, were registered by Morgan Keegan's Tavis McCourt, Bernstein's Toni Sacconaghi and Susquehanna's Jeff Fidacaro, although their triple and quadruple basis point improvements were only enough to move them from near the bottom of the pack to the middle.
On the other end of the scale, Citigroup's Richard Gardner, Hudson Square's Daniel Ernst and Goldman Sachs' Bill Shope moved from the middle of the pack to the bottom.
As a group, the amateurs (blue in the chart) mostly held their own, even though as the industry leaders they had the most to lose.
Also on Fortune.com:
[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]
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