Q114: The best and worst Apple analysts

“This was tough quarter to call and none of the 47 Apple (AAPL) analysts we polled — 29 professionals and 18 amateurs — got everything right,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune. “Or even close to right.”

“Wells Fargo’s Maynard Um, who came in first place on the top and bottom lines — having missed EPS by only a penny — came in 15th when his unit sales were factored in,” P.E.D. reports. “Aaron Rakers of Stifel Nicholaus, who came in first on all categories — having predicted better than anyone the fall-off in iPod sales — was 26th in the rankings for revenue and EPS.”

“There were plenty of bad calls. The Braeburn Group’s Ilari Scheinin overshot iPod unit sales by almost 100%. BTIG’s Walter Piecyk undershot gross margin by nearly 200 basis points,” P.E.D. reports. “And I don’t know what to say about the congenially bullish Nicolae Mihalache, who has come in last place in two of the last four quarters. He is not helping the independents’ cause. If he were a student in my class, I’d advise him to transfer out.”

47 Apple analysts ranked in the full article here.


  1. Tim couldn’t hint harder or faster that good new stuff is coming. He’s been banging that drum for at least 12 months now, but to his credit he said to keep our eyes in the end of 2013 and all of 2014. So as an investor this is NOT the time to bail unless you’re insane.

    The iPhone 5s had very cool new tech, these Pro is a beast and some are thrilled by the iPad air, though it seems pretty evolutionary to me.

    So that was the end of 2013 and he delivered. I have every reason to expect 2014 won’t be like 2012.

    1. The problem here is how many people are there that will both be able to afford the new tech AND also be dissatisfied enough with their current purchases to upgrade to the new Apple tech over a perceived ‘better’ value proposition of a competing device. AAPL whose Market Cap till now exceeded GOOG by over 100 billion has been reduced today to about 76 billion.

  2. Why would pro analyst predict or project or propose or say 51 Million iPhone sales when last year was an actual 47 million sales?
    So this 1Q14 iPhone sales was 51 Million a + 7% increase. A record for Apple.
    If Apple did sell 57 Million iPhone then that would be +20%!!!!!
    no way Apple is able to make that much iPhone physically right now???
    The Analyst setup AAPL for a fall from day 1 !!!

    Actual Record Revenues and Profits means nothing to Traders!!!

    1. Agreed. The finest finished poly-what’s’name – is still plastic when all said and done. The 5C is a contract phone ( that’s what the C really stands for ) needing a contract phone price.

      When the entry level cost of a smartphone is way lower than an iPod you are going to buy your kids the HTC/Samdung etc.

  3. There’s no way Apple will be able to increase iPhone sales to any degree now that Android has flooded every inch of the mobile industry. Apple let their iPhone business go down the tubes and there’s nothing they can do about it. Most consumers don’t need good products. They only require cheap products.

    Apple has a fine business model and their goals are admirable but Apple’s iPhone growth days are pretty much over. Apple would be wise to use their reserve cash and expand their business into a few other markets. Apple should simply go after Google’s search engine business and wreck havoc with Google’s revenue and profits. Apple can easily afford to run multiple businesses to keep the company growing. I think Apple did the best it could with its current business in the present economy but it’s obviously going to take more than that to please Wall Street.

    1. How is a record 51 million iPhones, up 7%, at a gross margin of 39.7% “down the tubes”? Their profit is greater than all other OEMs phone profits combined. Numbers of units sold means nothing in business.

    2. i don’t get it …why does apple ‘need’ to ‘please’ wall street. sometimes these guys with their ‘estimates’ make me think of horse gamblers who have an intimate relationship with the bookie but’ve never been down to the stables. maybe, that’s unfair, idk. maybe, apple should buy back some of it’s outstanding shares so those guys no longer have so many chips to play with.

      i was just imagining what it would be like if apple were to close itself down and lay everyone off. i don’t think there’d be anyone, anywhere who didn’t know that was a dark, dark day. i wish some of these gamblers and naysayers and blah blahs would just step back and realize what a jewel this american company really is, has been and will likely be for years to come.

      damn it. it’s tuesday and i want it to be saturday.

      1. This begs the question “Would an Apple close down affect the US market more or ALL the markets of other countries Apple currently has offices in and works with for services and supplies?”

  4. You would have thought that if Ichan was such a brilliant investor he would have bought the latest $500M shares after the Q1 numbers because the company is never going to beat the over-expectations of Wall Street and the price was going to go South.

  5. If Whore Street Stock is to go up they need to hire more analysts and jouranalysts to increase their market share. They need to buy lots of bananas to keep them working. This will help them create numbers all over the board that can be used to manipulate any company they want to. Plus the more writers they hire the better the odds of one of them writing something intelligent.

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