Apple (AAPL 5.93%) is down less than the S&P 500 year to date, and some investors may be overlooking it as a good investment opportunity today. Instead, they may be searching for stocks that have seen worse declines.

Investors may conclude that a rebound in the stock price will likely be less impressive than it will be for stocks that have seen steeper drops. But there's a reason the tech-giant's shares have been resilient: Apple is an outstanding business with strong long-term growth prospects.

Here are several reasons why investors may want to consider buying shares of the tech company today while they're down about 20% year to date.

1. Apple generates massive amounts of cash

One thing that may keep some investors away from Apple stock is the company's massive market capitalization of nearly $2.3 trillion. But the company has the cash flow to back up this valuation. The tech giant generated nearly $108 billion in free cash flow (the cash left over after day-to-day operations and capital expenditures are accounted for) in the company's reported trailing 12 months. 

This hefty cash flow means that Apple can both pay a dividend (more on that below) and repurchase shares. In the company's most recent quarter, for instance, Apple returned $28 billion to shareholders through a combination of dividends and share repurchases. 

2. The tech-giant's services segment is thriving

Investors who take a surface-level look at Apple may quickly conclude that the company's growth years are now behind it. After all, fiscal third-quarter revenue increased just 2% year over year. But investors should keep in mind that a combination of supply constraints that limited sales, as well as some macroeconomic weakness that could prove to be a temporary headwind, weighed on the quarter's results.

Even within Apple's suppressed results, there were signs of strength. Apple's services business, for instance, saw revenue grow more than 12% year over year during the period. The segment, which earns money from Apple's share of third-party apps sold on its platform, its own native apps, cloud services, Apple Care, Apple Pay, and other software and services, represents an engine for the company to deepen monetization with its active and loyal customer base over time.

Helping drive home how well Apple's services segment is driving monetization, management said in the company's fiscal third-quarter earnings call that it saw double-digit growth rates in transacting accounts, paid accounts, and accounts with paid subscriptions. More specifically, paid subscriptions across its services business increased by 160 million year over year during fiscal Q3.

As Apple's second-largest business segment after iPhone, the high-margin services segment's momentum -- even during a period of macroeconomic challenges -- makes a good case for continued growth in the tech-giant's overall business in the coming years.

3. Apple pays a growing dividend

Investors can also take some comfort in the fact that Apple, unlike many of the growth stocks that have seen their shares plummet in 2022, pays a dividend to its shareholders. Today, Apple's dividend yield is just 0.7%. But the tech company has provided regular annual dividend increases for shareholders -- and more increases are likely on the way in the coming years. By paying out just 15% of its earnings in dividends, the company's leaving significant room for dividend increases.

Overall, Apple's strong cash flow, robust and fast-growing services segment, and growing dividend make the stock look attractive today. Investors may want to consider buying shares or at least putting the stock on their watch lists.