An Apple Scare

There's quite a buzz among investors and technology fanatics today after Apple Computer's (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) fearless leader, Steve Jobs, revealed that he had surgery for pancreatic cancer over the weekend. It brought worries about the company's succession plan to the forefront of investors' minds and, indeed, thoughts of what Apple would be without its core -- Jobs.

Granted, it's an inopportune time for a scare like this. Apple's on the tip of many tongues these days; Jobs' face has been plastered on magazine covers at your local supermarket based on the success of the iPod, and whether Apple will dominate music has moved to conversation topic lists at happy hours, parties, and barbecues. Apple's third-quarter earnings sang on the company's musical strength.

Jobs, who is also CEO of Pixar (Nasdaq: PIXR  ) , said that the form of pancreatic cancer he had is a relatively benign one, and if caught in time, is cured. (Fortunately, he discovered it early, he said in a companywide email sent using his PowerBook and an Airport Express, according to an email transcript provided by Associated Press.) He said he will take August off and that Vice President Timothy Cook will lead the company in his absence.

Apple shares sank nearly 4% in early morning trading, although recently investors calmed down a bit, with the stock down about 2%. Indeed, Jobs is about as synonymous with his company as Warren Buffett is for Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A  ) (NYSE: BRK.B  ) or Bill Gates is for Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) . Granted, investors are likely also spooked, given the memory of the abrupt death of McDonalds' (NYSE: MCD  ) Jim Cantalupo in April. Some negative sentiment regarding a cancer scare in a company's high-profile leader is understandable.

However, it seems unfortunate that anyone would bid down the shares in a knee-jerk reaction to news like this, where most of the panic relates to conjecture. And many would argue that there are other, far better reasons to scrutinize an Apple investment, including concerns about lofty share valuation and steadily increasing competition.

What do you think? Do you wish Apple would discuss a succession plan? How badly would the company flounder without Jobs' leadership? Fools are talking about today's news about Jobs on the Apple discussion board.

Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 509738, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/21/2016 11:12:53 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,073.53 -88.82 -0.49%
S&P 500 2,135.44 -5.90 -0.28%
NASD 5,245.62 3.78 0.07%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/21/2016 10:56 AM
AAPL $116.67 Down -0.39 -0.33%
Apple CAPS Rating: ****
MCD $113.57 Up +3.00 +2.71%
McDonald's CAPS Rating: ***
MSFT $59.66 Up +2.41 +4.20%
Microsoft CAPS Rating: ****