CHART OF THE DAY: Apple's Guidance Game

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Why does Apple (AAPL) always “beat expectations?” Because it sets the bar so low it could fall over it.

Yesterday, for example, Apple reported a $1.33 per share profit on $8.16 billion of revenue for its March quarter. That’s 40% more profit per share and 5% more revenue than the company projected in late January. Fortunately, Apple doesn’t keep you guessing about what it says it will deliver and what it’s actual expectations are — because the lowballing is so consistent that you can just do the maths (add about 35% to 40% to the EPS).

No wonder Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster called Apple’s June quarter guidance “comically conservative” on CNBC this morning.

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