NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- While timing around Apple's (AAPL) Steve Jobs' resignation Wednesday may have been a surprise to investors, Mac lovers have widely expected that his deteriorating health would prevent him from returning full-time to his role as CEO.
Jobs, who has taken two medical leaves since 2009, was named chairman of the board. Former COO Tim Cook took over as CEO.
Apple shares, in turn, fell about 5% in after-hours trading; by Thursday morning, they were down 1.65% to $369.85.
While the majority of analysts believe Apple has had a succession plan in place for some time now and are confident about Cook's ability to take the reigns from Jobs, others are more hesitant.Read on for analyst sentiment on the future of one of the world's most valuable companies. Peter Misek, analyst at Jefferies
- While many view Jobs as the visionary, we believe the success of the company is also due to its ability to execute. We believe Apple has a long roadmap ahead, and that the new CEO Tim Cook will be able to execute.
- Operationally, we believe the appointment of Tim Cook as CEO alongside an experienced management team does not impose significant near-term risk.
- Steve Jobs is irreplaceable, but new CEO, Tim Cook, has a proven track record of execution.
- Jobs or not, we see Apple continuing its excellent execution.
- While there may be concerns among investors as to whether Cook can continue Jobs' streak of innovation, we believe there is no better candidate to assume the role.
- We continue to anticipate strong earnings growth for Apple over the next several years, with very strong demand and relatively low global market penetration for iPhone, iPad and Mac products.
- Jobs is passing on the CEO role of not just a product company, but a platform company that has "permanence" created by the app developer community and consumers that continue to adapt this platform in droves.
- This reminds us of the transition at peer IBM (IBM) from Lou Gerstner, who was the architect and visionary, to Sam Palmisano, who carried on Lou's vision, proven to be a very capable manager and arguably a visionary in his own right.
- It is not immediately evident to us how Apple replaces the irreplaceable and we are maintaining our neutral stance on the stock until it becomes clearer -- either that innovation and operational efficiencies will continue unabated under new management or that they are breaking down.
- We recognize that Steve Jobs is a true visionary and his sudden departure is an incremental negative for the stock. We recognize that he will still stay on the Board, and will therefore continue to have an influence on the company, but there is a possibility that his resignation was spurred by a gradual deterioration in his health. We are lowering our price target from $550 to $530.
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