Bloomberg has posted a very interesting piece on Apple, Steve Jobs, and the companyis stock value. Titled "Apple Computeris Jobs Strives to Rekindle Sales, Enthusiasm," this piece is a very detailed story that includes a history of the company, a history of Steve Jobs, and the issues that are currently affecting the value of the company. It also takes a brutally honest approach that seems harsh at times, like this assessment of Appleis most recent reported quarter:
Jobs, 46, has blundered during a slowing PC market. Shipments rose 15.4 percent in 2000 compared with 23.6 percent in 1999, according to IDC.
The result: Apple had a loss from operations of $247 million in the quarter ended December 30, 2000, the first since 1997, when Jobs returned to run the Cupertino, California, company after 12 years away.
On the other hand, it heaps praise upon Mr. Jobs for his accomplishments:
Jobs halted the cloning of Apple computers, orchestrated a $150-million investment from nemesis Microsoft, and built a new board of directors.
In his first full quarter as interim CEO, he reported a profit of $47 million, halting two years of losses totalling $1.9 billion and succeeding where three other leaders had failed. He axed the flawed Newton organizer and unveiled the colorful new iMac, making the recovery sustainable.
The moves polished Appleis image on Wall Street. Its shares surged more than six fold from Jobsis return as interim CEO to March 22, 2000, when they closed at a record $72.09. The Standard & Pooris 500 Index rose 60 percent during the same time.
Though the next sentence is back to todayis harsh reality:
That was then. Since their high, Appleis shares have fallen 70 percent through yesterday, when they closed at $21.78. On September 29 alone they plummeted 52 percent, after Jobs said profit for the September quarter would lag forecasts as Cube sales faltered and computers piled up on shelves.
The article talks about the fact that Steve Jobs is so much a part of Apple, that this has potential risk should he leave, or seriously drop the ball. On the other hand, according to the article, the upside potential is also high. Check out the full article. There is a lot more information than we have quoted, and it is quite complete and remarkably accurate for a mainstream organization (even one with as good a reputation as Bloombergis).