Who Are the Best and Worst Apple Analysts?

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Fortune has just released the latest installment in their self-proclaimed Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Earnings Smackdown, a “friendly competition” in which they rank the best and worst Apple analysts according to the performance of their estimates. A total of 40 analysts were included in the rankings, 11 of whom are amateurs, and all of whom participated in at least five of the past nine quarters. 

This quarter, the top five are Colin Gillis of BCG Partners, Walter Piecyk of BTIG, Turley Muller of Financial Alchemist, Scott Craig of Merrill Lynch, and Ittai Kidron of Oppenheimer. Only one of these analysts — Turley Muller — is an amateur, but as Fortune notes, although team Wall Street may have taken eight out of the top ten spots, “given that the pros also occupied nine of the ten worst spots, there is room for improvement.”

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“What made the exercise particularly interesting,” notes Philip Elmer-DeWitt, “at least in the early years, was that the more bullish amateurs tended to beat the conservative pros, often by an embarrassingly large margin. That’s changed in the past year or so. Although Apple has yet to miss its own guidance, it has on more than a few occasions come in short of the amateurs’ over-heated estimates. It has even missed a couple of the Street’s consensus numbers, misses that have cost its share price dearly.”

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