“As long-time readers of this blog know, we’ve been running for more than four years a friendly competition we call the Apple Earnings Smackdown,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune.

“What made the exercise particularly interesting — at least in the early years — was that the more bullish amateurs tended to beat the conservative pros, often by a embarrassingly wide margin,” P.E.D. reports. “That’s changed in the past year or so. Although Apple has yet to miss its own guidance, it has on more than a few occasions come in short of the amateurs’ over-heated estimates. It has even missed a couple of the Street’s consensus numbers — misses that have cost its share price dearly.”

Full article, with the performance of the 40 Apple analysts who have participated in at least five of the past nine quarters, here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]