/// Despite Apple’s Modest Earnings Guidance, the Street Expects Big Things
Apple’s fourth quarter is typically a slow one for the world’s most valuable public company. And with consumers likely delaying iPhone and iPad purchases ahead of the launch of the iPhone 5 and iPad mini , this one may have been a bit slower than usual. Certainly that’s what Apple suggested back in July when it said it expected fourth-quarter earnings of $7.65 a share on revenue of about $34 billion. That was a conservative take even for a company that is notorious for giving conservative guidance, and it fell well short of the consensus forecast at the time. So what can we expect when Apple reports after market close today? Well … Wall Street is looking for earnings of $8.91 per share on sales of $36.27 billion, which is far in excess of Apple’s lowball guidance. The independent analysts tracked by Fortune are expecting earnings of $10.14 on sales of $38.8 billion, which is even further beyond Cupertino’s numbers. And it’s impossible to say who’s likely to come out closest to the mark. So, a few things worth noting ahead of Apple’s report: Apple shares are up more than 50 percent so far this year. But they’re also down 10 percent from the record closing high of $702.10 they hit last month.