Are investors more concerned about losing jobs or losing Steve Jobs? Shares of Apple
Is his health an issue? Is there a power struggle taking place at Apple? Does this have anything to do with the company's decision to make this the last annual Macworld conference?
We'll know the answers eventually, but analysts are concerned over the public's perception of Apple without Jobs at the helm. It's misplaced, really. Do you really think that there is only one visionary at a company with as many moving parts as Apple?
There are certainly other companies that rally around a single leader:
- Would Oracle
(Nasdaq: ORCL)be the same acquisitive software juggernaut without Larry Ellison?
- Charlie Munger is great, but how confident will Berkshire Hathaway
(NYSE: BRK-A) (NYSE: BRK-B)investors be the day that Warren Buffett steps down?
- Hugh Hefner hasn't been CEO of Playboy
(NYSE: PLA)for several years, but it's tough to imagine the company without the iconic Hef in the background.
Hopefully Jobs is fine, and when it is time to step down he'll do it on his own terms. However, investors need to adjust for the risk that companies with just one colorful leader at the helm carry.
Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.
Sirius XM Radio
(Nasdaq: SIRI)is listening. A month after upsetting some of its subscribers by replacing several music channels, the company announced that it's bringing two of them back. The Strobe and Backspin, spinning disco and hip-hop classics, respectively, will be back on the air next month.
(Nasdaq: BIDU)is changing its name from Baidu.com to Baidu. Axing the "dot-com" appendage is so 2002, but it comes at a time when Baidu is trying to turn a new leaf. If anything, the new name is proving to be a good luck charm. Shortly after the change, Goldman Sachs upgraded the shares to "buy" for the first time in Baidu's publicly traded life.
Until next week, I remain,