NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- There's no denying that shares of Apple (AAPL) have been in a funk recently. Sounds like time to take advantage.
The stock ended Wednesday's session at $519.01, down more than 4% since the beginning of April. Before this decline, shares had climbed 5% since the end of February.
Apple will report fiscal second-quarter earnings results on April 23. The stock's recent volatility underscores how torn analysts are on what Apple is likely to report.
On the one hand, you have bulls like Andy Hargreaves of Pacific Crest, who believes Apple will beat earnings. Wednesday, Hargreaves reiterated his outperform rating on the stock and his $635 price target. From current levels, this suggest an upside of 22%.
Then there is Toni Sacconaghi of Bernstein Research, who believes there's more downside risk to these shares, even though the stock is off more than 26% from its all-time high of $705. And aside from warning about possible weakness in next week's report, Sacconaghi believes Apple will also disappoint investors in the July quarter.
Regardless of which analyst you want to believe, what remains clear is that Apple's worst days are over. And this stock is a definite buy ahead of the next week's earnings results. I say this knowing full well that Apple stock has had a tendency to fall following recent results. But my suspicions tell me this time will be different.
Consider this. For as much criticism Apple has received for its perceived poor results, the company has matched or beaten its own guidance for the past three quarters. In fact, during that span, Apple has surpassed its midpoint range for both earnings-per-share and revenue.