Independent financial bloggers have traditionally been closer to the mark in predicting AAPL revenue and earnings than professional analysts, and one day away from the Apple earnings call, the differences are quite large -- about $2 billion dollars large. The professional analyst word on the street expects Apple to report earnings of US$5.38 per share for the first fiscal quarter of 2011, up from $3.67 per share for the same quarter last year. Revenue is expected to increase by a whopping 55 percent to $24.3 billion, with an increase in growth across the board on all Apple products except the iPod.
This time the gap is the largest difference on record according to Fortune's Apple 2.0. In a survey of 10 amateurs and 44 professional analysts, the difference is quite dramatic. The consensus of the amateurs prognosticates that Apple will come in with revenues of $26.4 billion, a gap of $2.1 billion dollars or 8.6 percent. The difference in earnings per share (EPS) is even larger; it's forecasted by the bloggers as $1, or a full 18 percent higher than street estimates.
Our old friend Gene Munster, senior analyst for Piper Jaffray, comes in on the low end, predicting that revenue will be reported to be $23.3 billion with an EPS of $5.06. It's not inconsequential to note: in light of Steve Jobs' medical leave of absence (get well soon, Steve), none of this has anything to do with Apple stock price tomorrow since I would expect the price to jump all over the place. This is despite German AAPL trading down 6 percent on the unfortunate news. A down opening of AAPL is expected by all, but by how much is anyone's guess.
Please join us tomorrow at 5 PM Eastern for our live blog of the earnings call.
Note: The author is an Apple shareholder, and this post should not be construed as financial advice.