Here’s a Preview of Apple’s December Quarter Results

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Apple campusApple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is scheduled to announce its earnings results for the first fiscal quarter of 2014 after the markets close on Monday, January 27. Apple’s guidance suggested that its December quarter revenue would be between $55 billion and $58 billion with a gross margin between 36.5 percent and 37.5 percent. The majority of analysts are expecting results closer to the high end of Apple’s guidance. According to Yahoo Finance, the consensus revenue estimate for Apple’s December quarter is $57.46 billion and consensus EPS is $14.09.

Although Apple typically underestimated its earnings guidance under Steve Jobs, the company has been providing fairly accurate earnings guidance since Tim Cook took over as CEO. The lowest of the forty-one analyst revenue estimates compiled by Yahoo Finance is $55.93 billion and the highest is $59.88 billion. A year ago Apple posted $54.51 billion in first-quarter revenue and EPS of $13.81.

Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt recently compiled his own set of revenue and earnings estimates from a group of forty-nine analysts that included thirty-one professionals and eighteen amateurs. The average December quarter revenue estimate from Fortune’s group of analysts is $57.91 billion and the average EPS estimate is $14.32 – both higher than the consensus forecasts provided by Yahoo Finance.

However, as noted by Elmer-DeWitt, the independent analysts were more bullish than the professional analysts, with an average revenue estimate of $59.05 billion. Independent Braeburn Group analyst Faizal Kara gave the highest revenue estimate among Fortune’s group at $60.37 billion. In contrast, the average revenue estimate from the professional analysts was $57.27 billion.

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Yahoo Finance, Harvard Business Review, Market Watch, The Wall St. Journal, Financial Times, CNN Money, Fox Business