Originally Posted by anantksundaram
Hmmm.... I didn't know that Apple was a company that had sworn off the (fairly common) practice of earnings guidance (unlike thousands of companies) -- perhaps you know more about this.
I would be surprised if they did not do it (altho, some companies such as Coca Cola have explicitly said "no" to the practice of earnings guidance).
If you listen to the analysts call the day of the earnings release, you will see that Apple says nothing about future products, shipping dates, or the breakdown of current product sales, other than broad category division, such as desktops, laptops, iPods, software, etc., which is what we ware talking about, when we were talking about a years total sales.
Announcing the iPhone and the ATv well in advance was unusual for Apple, and they even took a beating for it, because it was so unusual.
The analysts are on their own. They have to do their own digging. If you read their reports, you will see that they refer to parts streams, re-aligned assembly lines, drying channel, parts purchases, etc.
That's the way they come up with their estimates. As each analyst has his, or her, own sources, their reports often don't match too closely, though sometimes they do.
We just happily guess according to what we want to see happen. We can do that. we don't get paid for it.