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Apple has beaten earnings estimates 20 out of the past 21 quarters

  • Apple faced a crucial test on Wall Street on Tuesday, as it reported financial results for the quarter ending in March.
  • The company has now beaten earnings per share estimates 20 out of the past 21 quarters, according to CNBC's analysis of StreetAccount numbers.

Apple faced a crucial test on Wall Street on Tuesday, as it reported financial results for the quarter ending in March. Reports of weak phone component orders and the fading benefits of tax reform cast a shadow over the company's future.

But Apple has often faced low expectations and managed to surpass them — in fact, it has a pattern of doing just that, and this quarter was no exception.

The company has now beaten earnings per share estimates 20 out of the past 21 quarters, according to CNBC's analysis of StreetAccount numbers. FactSet figures show that it has beaten estimates every quarter since March 2014, except for March 2016.

Here's Apple's history, according to FactSet:

Quarter Actual Expected
March 2014 1.66 1.46
June 2014 1.28 1.23
September 2014 1.42 1.30
December 2014 3.06 2.61
March 2015 2.33 2.15
June 2015 1.85 1.81
September 2015 1.96 1.88
December 2015 3.28 3.23
March 2016 1.90 2.00
June 2016 1.42 1.39
September 2016 1.67 1.66
December 2016 3.36 3.22
March 2017 2.10 2.02
June 2017 1.67 1.57
September 2017 2.07 1.87
December 2017 3.89 3.86
March 2018 2.73 2.67 (Thomson Reuters)