The Macalope Daily: Institutionalized gambling

Once again it’s time to place your bets in the grand casino known as the stock market, as Apple gets set to report its quarterly results Tuesday afternoon.

Philip Elmer-Dewitt says that analysts are mixed on whether Apple will delight or disappoint us.

“We see a reasonable probability that Apple will miss consensus revenue expectations due to macroeconomic weakness in China and Europe, a product cycle lull in the iPhone, a later than expected introduction of the new iPad into China, and the late quarter introduction of new Mac notebooks.”

So begins the note to clients issued Friday by Bernstein’s Toni Sacconaghi in which he lowered most of his estimates, from iPhone unit sales to his top to bottom lines…

Jeez, what a buzzkill, Toni. Andy Zaky is a little more fun to have at a party.

“After speaking with [Horace Dediu and Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster], I think this could potentially be a blowout quarter.”

LET ‘ER RIDE!

The Macalope doesn’t play the ponies anymore, having sold his minuscule number of Apple shares months ago. Still, Wall Street analysts have consistently underestimated Apple’s performance, with the exception of the third calendar quarter of last year when the iPhone release was delayed. And the Motley Fool’s Rick Aristotle Munarriz offers four reasons why Apple will beat expectations.

1. Apple historically trounces expectations

You’d think the analysts would learn but, like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football, they keep making the same mistake.

2. The trend is still moving higher

…Sandbagging by analysts who have yet to update their projections is keeping the number low.

More on that in a second.

3. The rare miss came with a good excuse

And the Macalope’s favorite:

4. The coast is clear

There have been no competitors making threatening moves.

Three months ago, Nokia’s Lumia 900 was predicted to be the big threat that would keep Apple in the doldrums this quarter. Saying that didn’t exactly pan out is a slur against pans. Half a million Lumia 900s sold is a drop in the bucket—the bucket full of so many iPhones that Apple sells every quarter that they are literally spilling over the top and onto the floor, voiding their warranties.

As Munarriz points out, analysts’ estimates have only gone up three cents in the last few weeks, during which Nokia announced its quarterly numbers and confirmed the low Lumia 900 sales.

A cartoon of a man/Mac/antelope hybrid is really not anyone you should be taking investment advice from, but it seems like there’s some good reasons to think Apple might have another better-than-expected quarter. We’ll find out on Tuesday.

[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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