Why are analysts almost always wrong about Apple?

A study of 365 sell-side financial analysts by researchers at four universities found that being able to talk one-on-one with management provided better guidance to analysts' profit predictions than their primary research and annual and quarterly reports.

In this article on Forbes May 17, 2018:

One important finding is that private communication with management is a more useful input to analysts’ earnings forecasts and stock recommendations than their own primary research, recent earnings performance, and recent 10-K and 10-Q reports. Another notable finding is that issuing earnings forecasts and stock recommendations that are well below the consensus often leads to an increase in analysts’ credibility with their investing clients. 

— W. P. Carey Associate Professor of Accountancy Andy Call co-authored the study "Inside the 'Black Box' of Sell-Side Financial Analysts"

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