updated 04:10 pm EST, Mon February 9, 2009
Fears on Jobs' role fading
Apple has broken through the $100-per-share barrier, as analysts appear to be reconsidering the importance of CEO Steve Jobs in Apple's future. FTN Equity Capital Markets analyst Bill Fearnley, Jr. has upgraded Apple's stock rating from Neutral to Buy with a target of $140, on the notion that Jobs might not be as crucial to the company's future as some people suggest. Says Fearnley, "We have re-evaluated our thesis and now believe any potential product disruptions from the CEO's leave will be smaller than we previously thought. We also believe investors are more prepared for the potential for a change in the role of the CEO."
Apple stock traded as high as $103 on Monday, but by the closing of the NYSE had slipped to $102.75. Trading began during the day with a slight dip, but then jumped 3 percent to hover at various levels between $102 and $103.
Over the past year, concerns over Jobs' health have triggered disruptions in the company's stock price, with analysts at times expressing serious worry at the thought of Jobs leaving Apple. In recent days analysts become more comfortable with the idea of Tim Cook running the company, at least for the next six months.