On January 31st, Apple will reveal earnings for the December 2016 quarter, amid expectations for record sales. Why are expectations high? Well, because Apple’s own quarterly guidance, which tends to be conservative, pointed in that direction, with revenue expected between $76 billion and $78 billion.
If Apple meets those expectations, it should be sufficient even if the sales increase is only slightly ahead of the year-ago quarter. But Wall Street will look to its own numbers, and rate Apple on how well they match. Beating the Street is a huge deal even if their figures have little or nothing to do with reality.
Apple will also be compared to Microsoft, which evidently did better than the market expected, and it’s clear that the two companies will be compared even though there’s only a small overlap. After all, it’s not that Apple charges for its operating systems or sells gaming systems.
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