Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu has reiterated his “Buy” rating on shares of Apple Inc. following the company’s change in CEO Wednesday, as well as his US$500 price target on the stock. In a research note to clients obtained by The Mac Observer, Mr. Wu praised Steve Jobs’s accomplishments and said that Tim Cook has been groomed to lead the company since 2005.
“Tim Cook has very big shoes to fill but he has been groomed for the position since being named COO in 2005,” Mr. Wu told his clients. “This reminds us of the transition at [Apple’s] peer IBM from Lou Gerstner, who was the architect and visionary, to Sam Palmisano, who carried on Lou’s vision, proven to be a very capable manager, and arguably a visionary in his own right.”
He said that Apple remains an “emerging platform story,” due in part to the new iCloud service and the company’s popular App Store for iOS devices, and recommended that his clients buy on any weakness.
“In the near term,” he wrote, “the stock may see some choppiness as it may turn into a “show me” story where Tim Cook will need to prove himself and gain confidence from investors that he can maintain the amazing AAPL ‘magic.’”
Mr. Wu also paid tribute to Steve Jobs, who he believes, “will go down in history as one of the greatest leaders, innovators, visionaries, and thinkers, of all time.”
Lastly, the analyst wrote that Apple remains positioned to, “outperform in this tough macroeconomic environment with its defendable strategic and structural advantages and its vertical integration.”t remain chairman of AAPL.
Shares in Apple traded down slightly lower Thursday, ending the day at $373.72, down $2.46 (-0.65%), on heavy volume of 31 million shares trading hands.
*In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a tiny, almost insignificant share in AAPL stock that was not an influence in the creation of this article.