Exclusive: Best and worst Apple analysts, Q1 2020

In Tuesday’s Apple 3.0 Earnings Smackdown, the bloggers clobbered the pros. Again. This time they took 7 of the top 8 spots.

A tip of the hat to:

  • Robert Paul Leitao, founder of the independent Braeburn Group, whose bullish estimates scored a rare twofer: first-place finishes in the top and bottom lines and in plus the rest.

A wag of the finger to:

  • Wedbush’s Daniel Ives, whose $400 price target tops the Street but whose top and bottom line estimates were the very worst. Maybe if he spent more time on his spreadsheet and less time on CNBC…

Below: The full list of analysts, sorted by the top-and-bottom lines, with the pros in blue and the amateurs in green. Click to enlarge.

apple best worst q1 2020Finally, a color-coded spreadsheet that shows—in each category—best, second-best, and third-best estimates (in bright and dull green) and worst, second-worst and third-worst (in bright red and pink). Corrections appreciated.

apple best worst q1 2020
Click to enlarge.


  1. David Emery said:
    I’d like to hear from those of you who make these predictions what it was in Apple’s results that surprised you/didn’t fit your model.

    January 29, 2020
    • Gregg Thurman said:
      The degree of top line revenue beat surprised me. I wasn’t concerned about whether APPLE would beat its guidance, but by the amount it did.

      It’ll be another year before I get excited about specific revenue/expense categories. By then I may have enough historical data to forecast them, but whatever those results are they won’t override My actual results vs Luca guidance formulas.

      A great big shout out to Robert on his estimate performance.

      January 29, 2020
    • Robert Paul Leitao said:

      For this particular quarter I wasn’t surprised by the results. The iPhone line surpassed expectations yet the revenue total remained below FQ1 2018 levels. I believe the average age of iPhones in use has reached its peak. In my view, this will support revenue growth over the next couple of model years as upgrade activity continues, boosting top line growth for the product line in tandem with the beginning of the 5G era.

      While much is being said about the perceived decline in the rate of Services revenue growth, the double-digit revenue growth story remains very much intact. Apple’s Service offerings are also an important component of branded device demand.

      iPad revenue was a bit soft in the quarter on a challenging compare. The Mac line demonstrated relative strength and ahead of the upcoming refresh cycle. The performance of Wearables was strong despite constrained supply of AirPod Pros and the watch line evidenced deep demand across the models being offered.

      All-in-all this was an extraordinary Q1 performance for Apple and I consider March quarter guidance to be strong and robust.

      January 29, 2020

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