Exclusive: Best and worst Apple analysts, Q3 2020

Once again, it was an independent—not a Wall Street analyst—who turned in the most accurate estimates.

A tip of the hat to:

  • Canada's own Michel Contant, who bet high in a blow-out quarter and took top spots in both the top and bottom lines and in the average of all categories. This was Contant's first win and he will take home, as his prize, a free one-year subscription to Apple 3.0 ($100 value).
  • A belated tip of the hat to friend-of-the-blog Gary Morton whose sent me a set of estimates on Monday that flew right under my radar. As it turns out Mortons's top and bottom line estimates of $59.5B and $2.55, respectively, put him in first place, ahead of Contant. They will both get one-year subscriptions.

And a wag of the finger at:

  • Krish Sankar, Gene Munster and Samik Chatterjee, who bet low and among them scored five worsts and five near worsts.

Below: The full list of analysts, sorted by the top-and-bottom lines, with the pros in blue and the amateurs in green.
apple best worst q3 2020Click to enlarge.

Finally, 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 q3 2020
See also: Apple’s blowout June quarter in five easy charts

UPDATED to give Gary Morton his due.


  1. Gary Morton said:
    Here was my message to Philip on Monday: I have been tracking certain iPhone usage analytics for several years, and the data for the June Quarter points to much stronger sales than most expect. I am going to go with the data. Here’s my outlandish estimates for the quarter:
    Fiscal Q3 2020:

    Total revenue: 59.5
    EPS: 2.55
    Revenue by segment:
    iPhone: 29.2
    iPad: 5.3
    Mac: 6.2
    Services: 13.4
    Wearables/Home/Accessories: 5.4
    Gross margin on total revenue: 38.1%

    July 30, 2020
    • Bart Yee said:
      Excellent results Gary and Michael! Congratulations!
      BTW, at current outstanding shares of 4.355B, the $2T mark will require $114.82 post split or ~$459.30 pre split. If anyone told me $460 was doable before end of year, I’d have laughed heartily. But now it’s quite possible before end of this quarter if not by split at end of August. Amazing!

      July 30, 2020
    • Dan Scropos said:
      Amazingly accurate. Perhaps the best estimate in the world. Certainly better than all of the top analysts. Well done.

      July 31, 2020
    • Jacob Feenstra said:
      I’m impressed, Gary. Maybe you can explain to us how you came to those figures. What was your rationale? What kind of nerve system nodes do you have attached to the variables in the hectic reality? I personally wouldn’t even try—it would all be just a pure guess for me.

      July 31, 2020
      • Gary Morton said:
        I look at a variety of iPhone usage and sales data. Back when Apple reported unit sales, this method typically came very close on units, but my ASP estimates could be a bit off and inventory swings were difficult to predict. For a few upcoming quarters, I’ll share my estimates with Philip. Usually they would have been in the top 15% of his rankings over the past years. This quarter was unusual because there was no detailed guidance from Apple and so many variables in the global marketplace. I think my accuracy was a bit of believing the data and some good luck. It helped optimize a few options trades.

        July 31, 2020
        • David Drinkwater said:
          This doesn’t sound totally different than what Deagol (Daniel Tello) did, but you have the advantage of using public metrics. Once Apple understood what Tello was doing, they stopped publicizing their private metrics.

          That makes all three of you very intelligent.

          Hats off!

          July 31, 2020
  2. Robert Stack said:
    Congrats Gary – nice job!

    July 30, 2020
  3. David Emery said:
    Seems that everyone missed the big rise on Mac and iPad sales. In some respects, that’s not surprising given how much those sales rose. On the other hand, it does appear obvious -in hindsight- that a lot of people bought machines to work/go to school/survive from home.

    July 31, 2020
    • Bart Yee said:
      I agree, it wasn’t hard to believe now, but it was hard to figure whether people would buy considering the economic turmoil here and abroad. The reality is Apple’s demographics can and will spend for Apple products and that’s the big difference.

      July 31, 2020
  4. John Butt said:
    Where does Michel Contant publish? I see he was also first in a forecast in 2015 on your old site as a Braeburn Group forecaster.

    July 31, 2020

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