More analysts have offered comment on Apple regarding CEO Steve Jobs’s newest medical leave of absence, and the consensus appears to be that they are confident that Apple can continue to execute well during an absence from the iconic CEO. Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu went so far as to say that any dip in the stock could represent a buying opportunity for investors.
“Obviously the stock is going to get hit tomorrow, but I see no reason why this stock won’t continue to work,” Mr. Wu told Reuters.
Echoing similar sentiments, Alexander Peterc of Exane told Reuters, “This will come as a surprise to Apple investors and definitely take some shine off the Apple stock; but even if Steve Jobs never returns to Apple, I would not expect a visible, tangible impact on how Apple is executing over the next couple of years.”
Not all analysts were as ebullient, however; Richard Windsor told the news service that Mr. Jobs’s absence should not fundamentally affect the company, but he noted that, “[Investor perception of the company is another matter.”
He added, “Steve Jobs is seen by the market to be a major force in Apple’s strategic direction. If his pancreatic cancer has returned, one could be quite worried.”
Earlier on Monday, we reported that Brian Marshall of Gleacher & Co. felt there was support for the stock at US$300 per share, noting that the markets could take a 15% bite out of AAPL. Additionally, he told Reuters, “Clearly Steve is a visionary. And at $350 a share this is going to weigh on investors.”
Apple reports earnings for the December quarter Tuesday evening, after the markets close. The U.S. markets were closed Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Day, a U.S. federal holiday, but trading in the stock will resume Tuesday morning. Investors pared 6.4% off the stock on the Frankfurt exchange, which was open Monday.
*In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a small share in AAPL stock that was not an influence in the creation of this article.