If Apple‘s earnings report on the 18th goes anything like its last few, the company will announce that it blew past $20 billion in quarterly revenue.
Apple has a habit of offering comically conservative guidance, and then basking in glory when it blows out expectations. Guidance for Q4 revenue is $18 billion. Phillip Elmer-DeWitt points out that if Apple beats that number by its average margin for the past three quarters — 19.3% — it will announce a staggering $21.5 billion.
Almost no one is willing to predict that big a win. But of the nine unaffiliated analysts Elmer-DeWitt looked at, seven predict revenue will be north of the $20 billion barrier.
Wall Street analysts are far less bullish, with a consensus of $18.76 billion. But, as Elmer-DeWitt points out, Wall Street analysts have been much more credulous of Apple’s guidance in the past, and they’ve ended up looking much sillier for it.