How Will Apple Shares Fare Today?
The Apple Steve Jobs leaves behind looks very little like the one he returned to in 1997, more than a decade after his 1985 ouster. The company was on the brink of fiscal ruin that year, with losses of more than $1 billion.
Today it is among the most valuable companies in the world, riding high on record sales of a string of hit products that have redefined personal technology and our expectations for it. In just the first three quarters of this year alone, Apple has already racked up record sales of nearly $80 billion. By year’s end they’ll likely top $100 billion.
Something to keep in mind today as the market reacts to the sad news of Jobs’s passing.
But amid the inevitable volatility in Apple’s share price the next few days, remember this: Jobs’s absence will likely have no measurable impact on Apple’s financial performance for the foreseeable future, if ever. But his legacy of innovation will — and for years to come. As I’ve written before, it’s Apple, not the iPod, iPhone or iPad, that is Jobs’s masterpiece product, a company designed to set the bar for the industry, regardless of whether he’s leading it or not.
As Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster wrote in a note to clients late Wednesday, “We believe the ethos of Steve Jobs, his vision and his work ethic, will forever drive Apple. As such, we reiterate, without hesitation, our Overweight rating on [the company's shares]. We believe Tim Cook is the ideal candidate to continue the work of the irreplaceable Steve Jobs. … While there may be concerns among investors as to whether or not Cook can continue Jobs’ streak of innovation, we believe there is no better candidate to lead the company Jobs co-founded. And in many ways, it will be Jobs and his deeply rooted vision that will always guide Apple and its leaders.”
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