Beginning of The END of Apple Inc? Share Price Drops on Steve Jobs Health Fears

The issue of the health of Apple Inc. Chief Executive Steve Jobs has come up again, an issue that investors and its fans don’t want to think about. Apple shares fell Tuesday as renewed health concerns for chief executive Steve Jobs, the Silicon Valley legend behind the Macintosh computer, iPod, iPhone and iPad, raised questions about the company’s future.

Beginning of The END of Apple Inc Share Price Drops on Steve Jobs Health Fears

Interestingly, Apple executives chose to say nothing about the future direction of Apple without Steve Jobs at the helm; instead COO Tim Cook spent some time bashing the Android operating system, just as Steve Jobs has done in the past. “Part of the magic of Apple is that we don’t let anyone know about that magic because we don’t want anyone copying it,” Cook said in response to the question regarding Steve Job’s current health and his indefinite leave of absence.

However, when whole internet is boiling with the news that Steve Jobs will be taking an indefinite leave-of-absence, Apple reported another record quarter. The company’s revenue hit $26.74 billion, well above the highest Wall Street estimates at about $25 billion. It posted $6 billion in profit, or $6.43 per share, compared to $3.38 billion, or $3.67 per diluted share a year ago.

But unfortunately for Apple, this yet another record quarter couldn’t help investor’s sentiments that was already disturbed with the news of the uncertainty that Apple as a company is looking ahead right now in Job’s indefinite health related leave of absence and Apple shares plummeted. Apple shares opened about six percent lower in New York on Tuesday, a day after Jobs announced he was taking another medical leave of absence, but they recovered during the day’s trading to close down 2.25 percent at $340.65.

Questions about Jobs’s health have resurfaced periodically since the cancer diagnosis in 2004, and have been the subject of much debate among corporate governance experts over the company’s obligations to its shareholders.

The company has a bad record of disclosing information about the health of its legendary leader, who survived pancreatic cancer, but then in 2009, had a liver transplant. In both cases, the company told investors after his surgeries took place. When Jobs took a six-month medical leave in January 2009, after rumors about his wan appearance in 2008, he cited “hormonal imbalance” issues. He ended up having a liver transplant which saved his life.

But Jobs’s vision is an integral part of the company’s stunning success and its resurgence from its near-death experience in the late 1990s when he returned to its helm. Like it or not, the value of Apple’s stock today is tied in large part to the company’s charismatic and secretive co-founder and chief executive. And when Steve Jobs gets sick, investors get super worried.

Analyst Rob Enderle of Silicon Valley’s Enderle Group said Jobs’s absence will be felt on strategic questions such as “what will Apple do next?” “The challenge is what comes after the iPad,” Enderle said.”Apple without Steve Jobs didn’t have the magic,” he said of the previous occasions when Jobs stepped aside for health reasons. “It was lacking this little something.”

So time will tell how things will proceed for Apple; but if this time Steve Jobs stays away longer from work then it might as well be the beginning of the end of Apple Inc! We’ll be glad to be proved otherwise but will keep our fingers crossed for now.

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