Apple CEO Steve Jobs may have announced that he is temporarily stepping down as company CEO, but UBS analyst Maynard Um doesn't think that spells certain doom for the Mac, iPod and iPhone maker. Instead, he expects the company's strategy will likely remain intact while Mr. Jobs is away.
"We believe that the corporate strategy that Jobs implemented, including a strong emphasis on product design, will remain intact as Jobs will still be making strategic decisions," Mr. Um said. "We believe the leadership team Jobs assembled is more than capable to continue to execute the strategy both near and long term."
Mr. Jobs announced on Wednesday that he is taking a leave of absence until June to deal with personal health issues. "Unfortunately, the curiosity over my personal health continues to be a distraction not only for me and my family, but everyone else at Apple as well. In addition, during the past week I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought," he said in a letter to employees.
Mr. Jobs's statement has led many to believe that his pancreatic cancer may have returned, although sources familiar with his treatment said that's not the case.
Since Mr. Jobs will still continue to remain involved in "major strategic decisions," Mr. Um the company will likely continue to move forward with his vision.
Mr. Um is maintaining his "Neutral" rating and US$110 target price for Apple's stock. Apple is currently trading at $80.29, down 4.27 (5.00%).