Interactive Apple Analyst Data

As the quarter is now at an end, it’s time to once again review the performance of Apple’s most highly paid observers. The data set linked includes published quarterly forecasts starting quarter ending June 2008 to quarter ending September 2011. Thanks to Philip Elmer-Dewitt who collected and processed the data over several years.

Apple Analyst Data | asymco. (Requires Flash)

As with previous interactive data sets, this is based on Motion Charts “gadget” in Google Docs. Try selecting the Motion Charts tab at the bottom of the page and hit the play button.

The way this is set up now is that the origin (0,0) represents actual performance (labeled as “Oppenheimer”). Every bubble is an analyst’s performance measured as a distance from actual. The further the location of a bubble from origin, the worse the error. Placement above zero (or to the right) indicates over-estimation for Revenues (and EPS). Placement below zero (or to the left) indicates under-estimation. Color of bubble represents affiliation (professional or amateur). Size of bubble is iPhone unit error.

You can change the axes, chart type (tabs in upper right), size, colors, and track individual analysts’ performance (by checking a name checkbox). Or just download the data and analyze on your own by selecting from the Data tab.

  • Neil Taylor

    Would love Google Motion Charts to be html5

    • Canucker

      Ditto….  Can run it in Chrome but would hate to give Google the message that Flash is still OK (am assuming everything in Chrome is assiduously tracked by Mountain View).

  • Awesome chart Horace. Looking forward to incorporating a lot of this into Estimize, looking forward to building on what you’re doing here with the amazing transparency. 

  • Temerition

    Would be interesting to include Apple guidance.

    • Anonymous

      I think that’s what the blue dot represents.

      • jawbroken

        The blue isn’t guidance, it’s actual performance.

      • Thanks for clarifying. Maybe Apple guidance could be added as just another analyst.

    • Another vote for Apple guidance data.  It would be interesting to be able to chart with Apple guidance at (0,0) as well as Apple actual at (0,0).

  • Anonymous

    One thing I noticed is that the error is undifferentiated, i.e., you can’t tell whether the error was on the high side oe on the low side. Would it be possible to add two colors, say red and purple. If a pro is on the high side the color is yellow and if the pro is low the color is red. And if a blogger is high its green while if a blogger is low its purple. Also, I notice we can’t put a “trail” on Apple, which would be helpful to see.

    Otherwise, great chart, although I had to use CloudBrowse to view it on my iPad….

    • jawbroken

      I might be confused here but it is differentiated. In the default configuration there are both position and negative Revenue and EPS errors on the axes and the size represents the iPhone error (the circle has a negative sign if the error was negative). I don’t think having the circles change colour would lead to a helpful visualisation because it would be hard to track the category movement.

      • jawbroken

        That should say “positive” not “position.

        I also don’t really know what you mean by putting a trail on Apple. Apple is just labelled “Oppenheimer” so you could put a trail on it but the error is always zero so it’s not a very helpful trail.

      • Anonymous

        If you plot revenue against eps the blue dot moves in both axes, and no negatives appear. BTW, Horace, it would be useful to see Apple’s earnings forecasts changing “size” as well depending on how well they did at predicting the actual earnings. Just a thought….

      • jawbroken

        I think you are very confused about the data and you might want to re-read the above post.

        I don’t know why you would think that Apple’s actual EPS and revenue would ever be negative in the period covered…

      • Anonymous

        I was confused but I’m all right now. I assumed the blue dot was Apple’s earnings projections, not actual earnings. However, I still think sticking Apple’s projections in as just another projection would be useful.

      • Anonymous

        It’s only negative or positive in relation to Apple’s earnings forecast, not to actual earnings, unless I am mistaken about the blue Apple circle.

  • Ed Smith

    Yup, no flash here

    • Level380

      iOS user…… Get Android!

      • Anonymous

        You want him to downgrade?

        Haven’t you heard there is flash enabled web browser named Sky Fire or something on iOS. And didn’t Adobe decide to kill Flash for mobile completely?

        It will certainly be interesting to see the #s on Jan 17th. Hoping that Asymco/Horace come out on top. Andy Zaky will be up there too.

      • Level380

        Haha “or something”…. You don’t even know what your talking about. Don’t talk wide vague topics is it there or not? The fact is today on a android device you can render flash natively regardless of future plans for the product.

        Android is a upgrade from ios. You do know that ios5 notification system is stolen from android 1.0 right? Multi tasking was out first on android. Dual core cpu was out first on android. Do I need to go on?

        Pffft…… Apple trolls……..

      • Anonymous

        Way to bring the level down, Level380. FYI, we try not to talk trash around here.

      • Level380

        Oh so by no trash talk as you call it. You really mean don’t tell the truth and continue to spread the lie that the iPhone is the best product and market leader in everything?

        Well what I said was just the facts. It’s the truth. Deal with it.

      • Anonymous

        The subject of this sub-thread is using Flash on an iOS device. I do it all the time. That’s a fact. Deal with it.

      • Tom

        And you came on here just to tell us all how great Android is or did you actually have something constructive to add to the conversation?  Stop trolling.

      • Level380

        Oh tom…. Come to the party 5 days late and add no value.

        Just like a iphone 4S!

      • Anonymous

        One app that lets you run flash on your iOS device is CloudBrowse. I’m sure there are others.

  • virgil

    Wow, full of insightful comments here. All about flash, as if this was the subject of the article.
    Horace, what’s with the trend of everyone being too optimistic about Apple? That didn’t use to happen (typically the bloggers were more optimistic than analysts, but even they were at times too pessimistic)

  • Anonymous

    Horace, you really produce some of the most amazing charts I’ve ever seen. Many thanks!

    This one deserves to be in the Design Museum alongside Jony Ive’s work!

    By the way, Huberty of Morgan Stanley normally produces three cases Bear, Mid and Bull. Which are you tracking and would it be possible to track all three?

    I suspect her Bull forecasts are likely to be the most accurate.

  • Billy

    Can’t see your graph on iPhone or iPad! Must wait till I get home, please consider html5 friendly graphs for us mobiles thanks 😉