This post by Jim Cramer appeared earlier Tuesday on RealMoney . Click here for a free trial, and enjoy incisive commentary all day, every day.

Two ways to look at Apple:
  1. Can it ever be the same without its founder, who is a combination of Thomas Edison (inventor), Henry Ford (manufacturer) and Sam Walton (retailer)?

  2. Wouldn't we want to wait until we see the earnings anyway? Because if it is only down $20, all that has happened is that we are back to where we started a few weeks ago when the year began.

The former's about bench. I am wondering if Steve Jobs has people standing in the wing who can fulfill all three functions. Not one person, but three. Still, that's not bad. More than most. Because they have had this fire drill before, and of course there is no way of saying he won't be near full capacity in the interim.

Second, I think the earnings are going to be phenomenal. I think that they can do a Street-high of $6 and that fiscal year 2011 can be as high as $23.

If you back out what I think will be $60 a share in cash, you are talking about a stock that right now is looking $260 with $23 in earnings power.

It is almost as if the market was thinking about this transition all along, especially when you compare it to the other fast-growers out there, notably its colleagues in the FADS that CAN continue to rock -- F5 ( FFIV), Deckers ( DECK), Salesforce.com ( CRM), Chipotle ( CMG), Amazon ( AMZN) and ( NFLX).

My take is that if you buy, you are going to risk a one-two whammy of late sellers worried about the quarter on top of early sellers worrying about health of Jobs. If you own it, I would do nothing. If you are thinking of taking advantage of the weakness, why not just buy half?

Buying half is not a chicken way to do it. It's prudence. Prudence never hurt anyone. Just cuts off some upside. In a world where downside destroys performance, it seems like a logical thing to do. (Our full Apple view sent last night to Action Alerts PLUS subscribers.)

Random musings: I liked the Obama op-ed piece very much. Those who doubt his P/E-expanding new tone will have to readjust. ... This Comerica ( CMA) deal with Sterling ( SBIB) is part of the one-time-only chance to combine that is driving so much change in the business. Very positive...

At the time of publication, Cramer was long Apple.
Jim Cramer, founder and chairman of TheStreet.com, writes daily market commentary for TheStreet.com's RealMoney and runs the charitable trust portfolio, Action Alerts PLUS. He also participates in video segments on TheStreet.com TV and serves as host of CNBC's "Mad Money" television program.

Mr. Cramer graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, where he was president of The Harvard Crimson. He worked as a journalist at the Tallahassee Democrat and the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, covering everything from sports to homicide before moving to New York to help start American Lawyer magazine. After a three-year stint, Mr. Cramer entered Harvard Law School and received his J.D. in 1984. Instead of practicing law, however, he joined Goldman Sachs, where he worked in sales and trading. In 1987, he left Goldman to start his own hedge fund. While he worked at his fund, Mr. Cramer helped start Smart Money for Dow Jones and then, in 1996, he founded TheStreet.com, of which he is chairman and where he has served as a columnist and contributor since. In 2000, Mr. Cramer retired from active money management to embrace media full time, including radio and television.

Mr. Cramer is the author of "Confessions of a Street Addict," "You Got Screwed," "Jim Cramer's Real Money," "Jim Cramer's Mad Money," "Jim Cramer's Stay Mad for Life" and, most recently, "Jim Cramer's Getting Back to Even." He has written for Time magazine and New York magazine and has been featured on CBS' 60 Minutes, NBC's Nightly News with Brian Williams, Meet the Press, Today, The Tonight Show, Late Night and MSNBC's Morning Joe.

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