But an amateur -- a Romanian mathematician teaching in Paris -- nailed the numbers
This story never gets old.
An army of Wall Street analysts, backed by the computing power of some of the world's richest banks and brokerage houses, have once again been out-foxed and out-analyzed by rag-tag bunch of bloggers, amateurs and independent investors.
A glance at the chart at right, which lists the 48 analysts we polled in advance of Apple's Q3 earnings report by the accuracy of their estimates for revenue and earnings, will give you the basic picture. With a few exceptions, the pros (in red) were wrong and the amateurs (in blue) were right. As a group, the amateurs were twice as accurate in their predictions as the pros.
Near the bottom: Mighty Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.
At the top: Nicolae Mihalache, a Romanian mathematician who teaches at the University of Paris and hangs out at a small investor site called Traderhood. He correctly predicted Apple's (AAPL) 82% growth in sales, its triple digit growth in earnings, its 140% growth in iPhone sales and its 180% growth in iPad sales.
He's a Romanian blogger with a Harvard MBA who lives in Finland. Go figure.
What if you took all the estimates by all the analysts who write about Apple (AAPL) -- and there are dozens -- and ranked them by how closely their predictions matched the company's quarterly earnings reports. Would you be interested in who came in first?
Daniel Tello, a Venezuelan amateur with a strong track record of his own, MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 22, 2010 7:48 AM ET
Apple must have paid a heavy penalty to ramp up production so rapidly
Two of the biggest surprises in Apple's (AAPL) Q4 earnings report Monday were the sharp rise in the number of iPhones Apple sold in the quarter (14.1 million, up 91.4% year over year) and the drop in a key measure of the company's profitability: gross margin (GM), which dropped to 36.9 from 39.1 last quarter.
The two are related, MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 19, 2010 9:02 AM ET
The bloggers beat the pros once again this quarter, but not quite as handily as before
The professional analysts who track Apple (AAPL) for banks and brokerage houses may have been surprised by the $15.7 billion in revenue the company reported Tuesday -- an all-time record for Apple in what is traditionally one of its weakest quarters.
But the blogger-analysts we polled in advance of the earnings report were not. In fact, MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 21, 2010 5:53 AM ET
Fiscal Q3 estimates from the blogger-analyst whose track record is the envy of Wall Street
There's no shortage of analysts at the banks and brokerage houses who claim expertise on Apple (AAPL) and publish earnings estimates in advance of the company's quarterly reports.
But for the past year and a half, the most accurate predictions -- by far -- were the ones made by Financial Alchemist's Turley Muller, an occasional blogger and MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 8, 2010 7:21 AM ET
Once again, the armchair analysts humiliate Wall Street's professionals
There's almost nothing good to say about the estimates published by professional analysts in advance of Apple's (AAPL) second quarter earnings. Not only did the pros badly underestimate almost every aspect of the company's business -- from revenue and earnings to unit sales -- but they were bested in every category by a rag-tag group of bloggers, day traders and armchair analysts.
The MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 20, 2010 7:13 PM ET
$267 a share, according to Trefis.com's model. But feel free to build your own.
The analysts at Trefis figure that the iPhone accounts for 51.5% and the iPad only 4.3% of Apple's (AAPL) fair market value, which they estimate at about $267 a share -- nearly $20 above Friday's closing price.
How do we know? Because their model of the company (right) -- fully interactive and satisfyingly drillable -- is neatly displayed MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 17, 2010 4:32 PM ET
The fourth in a series of previews of Apple's results for fiscal Q2 2010
Over the past week we've sampled analysts' expectation for Apple's (AAPL) iPhone, Mac and iPod sales over the fiscal quarter that ended March 27.
Today we look at the bottom line -- revenue and earnings per share -- for what should be the company's best second quarter ever, especially given how depressed the computer market was in the MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 17, 2010 8:26 AM ET
It's been a busy week for long second looks at Apple (AAPL).
Some, like Jason Calcanis' narcissistic The Case Against Apple, were prompted by the controversies swirling around its iPhone marketing strategies and App Store approval procedures.
Others, like Peter Burrows' Why Apple Is More Valuable than Google (GOOG) in Businessweek, by a long-term shift in market capitalizations that has pushed America's No. 4 computer maker (market cap $148 billion) ahead of MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 12, 2009 11:22 AM ET
Turley Muller has been arguing for more than a year that Wall Street seriously underestimates the impact of the iPhone on Apple's (AAPL) bottom line.
Muller, a former mortgage trading analyst, currently unemployed, tracks Apple's performance in his blog Financial Alchemist, where his estimates of Apple's earnings put the Street's consensus to shame. Over the past four quarters, he has missed reported EPS by 4 cents, 2 cents, 1 cent and MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 29, 2009 10:04 AM ET
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