Trading Apple before earnings: No shortage of free advice by Philip Elmer-DeWitt @FortuneMagazine April 23, 2012, 12:21 PM EDT E-mail Tweet Facebook Google Plus Linkedin Share icons FORTUNE — You’ll find them on Seeking Alpha, often posting with agendas hidden under pseudonyms like Options Pundit, Income Hunter and Jaded Consumer. And with Apple’s AAPL stock dropping 11% from a record high two trading before a pivotal quarterly earnings report, they’re full of free — and often conflicting — advice. Paul Zimbardo advises investors to Buy Apple Before Tuesday’s Earnings Rocco Pendola explains Why I Would Not Touch Apple Ahead Of Earnings Dr. Duru thinks Odds Favor A Big One-Day Upside Bill Maurer warns Don’t Expect The Moon Elmwood Data says Apple Upside Reversal Day Coming Soon Evans Capital sees A Chink In The Armor Plan B Economics wonders if it’s Time For Caution? Mike Stalling has strategies for Profiting From The Pullbacks Jaded Consumer advises Investing Long/Short To Manage Volatility Kenneth Roberts favors Playing Apple Earnings With A Covered Call Richard Bloch thinks Apple weekly options are Dangerously Expensive Now Bill Luby makes The Case For Selling Apple Puts Matthew Whiz Buckley likes Apple May Iron Condor Kim Klaiman has no fewer than 6 Ways To Play Apple’s Earnings Confused yet? The fact is, nobody knows which way Apple’s shares are going to move after the company reports its second fiscal quarter earnings Tuesday. The blowout that the most bullish independent analysts predict could spark a massive rally to new highs. A run-of-the-mill earnings beat on the order of the Street’s consensus could send the stock scurrying back down to February levels. My free advice: Keep your eye on iPhone unit sales, especially in China. See About those 3.2 million Verizon iPhone activations last quarter. Below the fold: Our updated analysts spreadsheet, with estimates from 23 independent and 34 Wall Street analysts.