Shares in AAPL Shrug Off Early Losses, Analysts Mixed

iStock TickerTrading in shares of Apple Inc. rebounded off their opening lows in mid-afternoon trading Thursday, trading as of this writing at US$83.15 per share, down $2.18 (-2.55%) in heavy volume. Analysts have so far been mixed on their reactions to the news that CEO Steve Jobs would be taking a six month medical leave of absence.

The stock had opened the day at $80.05 per share following the news, which was delivered via an open letter to Apple employees late on Wednesday.

Many had thought the stock would take a bigger hit on that news, and indeed AAPL dipped to as low as $76 per share in afterhours trading on Wednesday. So far, however, investors have moved in to buy the shares being sold, keeping the stock fairly stable.

Analysts have so far been mixed. The Mac Observer reported earlier today that AmTech analyst Brian Marshall was rasing Apple to a Buy rating citing support for the stock at $77 per share based on valuation, while RBC Capital analyst Mike Abramsky downgraded Apple to a Sell.

Mr. Abramsky lowered estimates for the company based on broader economic concerns, but also cited what he called near-term uncertainty over Apple's leadership. Apple has announced that COO Tim Cook will take over day-to-day operations during Mr. Jobs's leave.

*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.