Forecasting earnings ( especially the completely nutty idea of forecasting QUARTERLY earnings ) is Wall Street’s way of getting suckers to play at the casino. Quarterly and trailing twelve month earnings are ephemeral, unreliable and a waste of time.

Any analyst worth his/her salt ( and there aren’t any on the “sell side” and precious few on the “buy side” ) doesn’t worry or bother with that nonsense. Analysts and investors who know what they’re doing instead focus on the integrity of the balance sheet and the underlying “normalized” earning power. “Wall Street” and their hired henchmen in the media will never do that– for the simple reason that it’s not in their interest to do so. They’re in the business of trolling for fools.