NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Will Apple (AAPL - Get Report) report six or seven billion iPhones sold in the most recent quarter? Will it count a trillion or a gazillion in revenue? Will its margins come in at 99.9 or 99.75%?
You can get real numbers on all of that and more -- because plenty of people, for good reason, want those numbers -- right here at TheStreet. They matter, but only if you're trading the stock (please be careful) or stewing over a long position and have put yourself in the somewhat irresponsible spot of deciding what to do with it during one of the potentially most volatile times of the year.
Homey don't play that game and neither should you.
Because, there's no question about it, the sell-off in AAPL, assuming you judge the company on its present dominance, is way overdone. You mean to tell me that the competition is so fierce and formidable that it justifies an implosion in Apple?No way. For as successful as Samsung and Google (GOOG - Get Report) have been, they play a completely different game than Apple. They gobble up marketshare; that's not the Apple way, nor should Tim Cook or whoever ends up CEO make it the Apple way. For as confident as I am that BlackBerry (BBRY - Get Report) can turn things around in 2013, that company's success will not have a material impact on Apple. And Microsoft's (MSFT - Get Report) mobile efforts don't count; they're simply pathetic.
But Apple doesn't trade on the basis of what it is now, it trades on the basis of what people think it can or will be tomorrow. And that's a forecast shrouded in uncertainty. We all know why. The elephant has left the room; now there's a whole chorus of bandwagon jumpers making talk of Tim Cook's ouster go mainstream. As such, I go back to what I said prior to Apple's last earnings report: Don't buy the stock. It very well could be the case that all of this talk about Cook's ability and innovation stagnation at Apple is, as AAPL permabulls like to call it, FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt). I think there's something to it, however, as always, I reserve the right to be wrong. In fact, I hope I am.
But, in any event, why spike your anxiety by buying a battleground stock during such tumultuous times? Makes no sense. Because, first, excellent alternatives exist (those big media names continue to run). And, second, if AAPL regains its footing and takes off, you'll have plenty of time to hop the train. Long-term investing should be as much about limiting stress as it is about making money. AAPL's a stressful stock, especially around earnings. If you feel even slightly nervous about an existing position or taking a new one, your best move might be to sit this one out. Don't make it about this particular earnings report; in the bigger picture, one quarter has little to do with the death and life of Apple. Follow @rocco_thestreet -- Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.