updated 04:30 pm EDT, Thu June 16, 2011
'Deep bench' of talent should overcome retail loss
Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu is offering a positive opinion of Apple's prospects after its loss of retail head Ron Johnson to JC Penney. While the departure is considered a definite loss for Apple, Wu sees a "deep bench" of talent in the retail division, and believes the company's culture and way of thinking is ingrained to the point where it can manage even talented departures well.
As examples, Wu cites the departures of Jon Rubenstein, head of hardware engineering; Avie Tevanian, head of software engineering; Fred Anderson, CFO; and Tony Fadell, considered to be the the father of the iPod. Despite those losses the company has reaped large profits and Wu believes the success will continue.
Wu is maintaining a Buy rating, expecting Apple stock to outperform in a tough economic environment thanks to strategic and structural advantages, such as vertical integration. Wu is holding to a price target of $460.