Apple proves analyst expectations are overrated

Tim Kiladze for the Globe and Mail:

Right after Apple Inc. announced its profits on Tuesday, the first news reports all fixated on just how badly the tech giant missed earnings estimates of $10.37 (U.S.) per share. The main message: this was horrible news. … Analysts shouldn’t be paid to tell us where they think earnings will come in. They should be able to coherently explain what the earnings mean and what to watch out for. They’re in the business of analysis, after all.

Kiladze nails it. After last night’s earnings report, in which Apple exceeded its previous guidance for the quarter, financial reporters quickly noted that Apple missed analyst expectations. But analysts are consistently wrong about Apple’s earnings, so why do we put any stock in these people’s guesses at all?