Apple smackdown: The bloggers clobber the pros

Independent Apple analysts this quarter took six out of 10 top spots.

When Apple beats expectations, the congenitally bullish independent analysts tend to shine, throwing shade on the more cautious pros. So it was last night, as witnessed by all that green at the top of my best-and-worst spreadsheet for fiscal Q1 2017. Without further ado…

A tip of the hat to

  • Robert Paul Leitao, longtime host of the Braeburn Group of independent Apple analysts, who scored his first No. 1 finish on the strength of a pretty good revenue estimate and a great EPA.
  • Wells Fargo’s Maynard Um and StockChats Daya Baran who tied for best revenue estimate.
  • Citi’s Jim Suru, who came in first in the rankings when unit sales are included.

A wag of the finger to

  • Credit Suisse’s Kulbinder Garcha, who turned un the worst EPA estimate and the second-worst revenue.
  • Kurt Burgess of the Braeburn Group, whose revenue estimate overshot the mark by nearly $4 billion.
  • Morgan Stanely’s Katy Huberty, whose overly-cautious iPhone and iPad estimates put her in last place in the all-categories ranking.

Below: The full list of analysts, sorted by the top and bottom line, with the pros in blue and the amateurs in green.

Click to enlarge. Not seeing the spreadsheet? Try the website. 

Finally, a color-coded spreadsheet that shows, in each category, best and second-best estimates (in bright and dark green) and worst and second-worst (in bright red and pink). 


  1. HAZEM El-Refaey said:
    the difficulty with apple is that a correction with apple will lead to market crash !

    February 1, 2017
    • William Kortum said:
      Hazem –

      I’ve been through a couple of severe market crashes as an Apple holder. If you’re in a good ship, you don’t sink. What you do is sell other holdings and buy more Apple when it’s on sale. Then be patient. Investing is a long term thing. As Cramer says: “Own Apple. Don’t trade it.”

      February 2, 2017
  2. Robert Paul Leitao said:
    Each quarter formulating revenue and earnings per share estimates becomes progressively more challenging. There are more and more variables involved as Apple releases new multi-billion dollar lines of accessories, each of Apple’s geographic revenue segments develop distinctly different revenue growth cycles and the broadening base of Apple-branded device owners increase their use of services.

    In the end it comes down to the customer – new customer acquisition and further customer engagement in the eco-system. All other numbers are constituent outcomes of those two factors.

    February 2, 2017

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