Apple Earnings: The Guidance Game vs. Real Expectations

| About: Apple Inc. (AAPL)

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), which reports December quarter earnings on Monday afternoon, is known for dramatically low-balling its profit guidance, and then miraculously blowing out "expectations." Since Sept. 2006, Apple has topped its quarterly EPS guidance by an average 39%, and its revenue guidance by an average 7%.

So what does that mean for Monday?

Based on Apple's midpoint December quarter guidance of $1.74 EPS and $11.45 billion in sales, history suggests Apple should report EPS of about $2.42 on $12.25 billion of revenue. The Street "expects" less: Consensus stands at $2.07 EPS on $12.05 billion of revenue. (Click chart to enlarge)

Apple guidance chart Dec Click to enlarge

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