Apple Investors: We're Not Worried

CUPERTINO, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- Apple ( AAPL) investors, though sad to see the end of the Steve Jobs era, are confident that new CEO Tim Cook can keep the tech giant firing on all cylinders.

"Today's news wasn't bad since it means a continuation of the status quo, which has worked out pretty well these past few years," said Apple shareholder Scott Grannis, in an email to TheStreet. "I think one of Apple's great strengths is its culture, and that is what should allow it to continue to succeed even without Steve Jobs at the helm."
Apple investors say that they are unfazed by Apple's CEO reshuffle.

Jobs' heir apparent, Apple COO Tim Cook, has already assumed the CEO's role, much to the relief of the company's shareholders.

"The best part of today's announcement was what the board did not do," added Grannis, who writes the Calafia Beach Pundit blog. "They didn't pick an outsider, they picked a guy that has proven himself to be fully in sync with the apple culture -- if Steve Jobs' successor had been an outsider, then I would have been truly worried right now."

Former IBM ( IBM) and Compaq executive Tim Cook is no stranger to the Apple hotseat, having run the company during Jobs' three medical leaves of absence. The Auburn grad joined Apple as senior vice president of operations in 1998, later becoming executive vice president of worldwide sales and operations. Widely acknowledged as a logistics guru, Cook was promoted to COO role in 2005.

Jobs' departure could also raise the profile of the company's design master Jonathan "Jony" Ive. As Apple's senior vice president of industrial design, the Brit has earned a fearsome reputation for product development, and will help drive the firm's innovation engine in Jobs' absence.

"I expect Cook, as well as the other talented managers, will continue moving Apple forward," noted Michael Yoshikami, CEO and founder of YCMNET Advisors, in an email to TheStreet. "The bench strength of Apple is significant and many individuals have taken a greater role in the company given the developments with Steve Jobs' health over the last several years."

Apple has a busy few months ahead of it. In addition to the new iPhone -- likely to debut in September -- the frenetic holiday shopping season kicks off, and a new iPad could be on deck early in 2012.

Yoshikami predicts no immediate impact from Jobs' resignation on these fronts, noting that much of the preparation work has already been done."I expect this not to affect on the short-term product launches including iPhone 5 and the new iPad 3," he said. "The pipeline is full of robust products that should drive revenue."

Investors can also take heart from Cook's already-solid track record. Under his guise, the company recently reported blowout fiscal third-quarter results, boosted by impressive iPhone and iPad sales.

"The company didn't really miss a beat at all, even as Jobs' role was unclear and changing based on his health over time," said Chad Brand, president of Peridot Capital Management, in an email. "As a result, I am inclined to feel comfortable about its future until there are reasons to think they have stumbled and might have lost their way -- without any evidence thus far, my concerns are not that deep."

Cook also has an enviable cash hoard at his disposal. Apple exited the third quarter with cash and investments of more than $76 billion.

One thing to note, said YCMNET's Yoshikami, is caution about the company's long-term vision, particularly with regard to new products. "Jobs is well known for personally testing product and making the final decision when they are to be rolled out," he wrote. "Apple will need to find a process or person that can at least somewhat imitate the brilliance Jobs has shown in developing technology."

Apple shares tumbled more than 5% in extended trading after Jobs announced his resignation late Wednesday, but by Thursday afternoon they had pared some losses. The stock was down about 1% at $372.17.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/jamesjrogers.

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