Report: Steve Jobs On Track to Return to Apple End of June

Steve Jobs is on track to return to Apple at the end of June, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. the newspaper cited sources familiar with Mr. Jobs' efforts to become healthy and with the weekly reports that Apple's board of directors have received from Mr. Jobs' physician.

According to this source, Mr. Jobs's recovery "is coming along." More importantly to Apple observers, he is on schedule to return to work at the end of June, which would be the end of the six-month leave of absence time frame he announced shortly before Macworld in January of this year.

"He was one real sick guy,'' the Journal's source said. "Fundamentally he was starving to death over a nine-month period. He couldn't digest protein. [But] he took corrective action.''

Mr. Jobs is not scheduled to make an appearance at next week's World Wide Developer Conference event to be held in San Francisco. There has, of course, been much speculation about whether he would make such an appearance, but the keynote for the event is scheduled to be delivered by Apple VP Phil Schiller and other assorted executives.

The Journal also said that Apple "senior managers" are trying to coordinate Mr. Jobs' return with a product launch or other special event.

After the Journal's report was published, UBS analyst Maynard Um issued a research note in which he maintained his Neutral rating on the stock, and his price target of $130, well below the $144 per share that the stock is trading at of this writing ($144.48 per share, a gain of $0.74 (+0.51%)). He also said that Mr. Jobs' return, as per the Journal's report, could be a catalyst for the stock.

*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.