Apple stock trading up following Jobs' death

The company's shares hold steady, more or less, as Wall Street responds to the passing of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

Don Reisinger
Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
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Wall Street doesn't appear to be all that worried about Apple's future following the announcement of Steve Jobs' death.

Early trading on the Nasdaq today shows Apple's shares as of this writing to be up as much as 4 percent, to around $384. The company's shares started the day down in the $374-$375 range following yesterday's closing price of $378.25, but have quickly made their way back, seeming to indicate that Wall Street has faith in Apple, even though its iconic co-founder has died.

Apple announced last night that Jobs had died after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Quickly following that announcement, people around the globe took to Twitter, Facebook, and other services to express their shock and their admiration for the man.

At Apple, Jobs was a larger-than-life figure who, after an involuntary absence, helped bring the company back from near-failure to become one of the world's largest companies. For shareholders, Jobs' vision was instrumental in their decision to invest in the company, and helped spur tremendous share-price growth over the last several years.

Over the last 10 years, and during what might be one of Jobs' most accomplished decades at Apple, the company's share price has risen 4,557 percent from its starting price of about $10 per share. Over the last five years, Apple's shares have risen 406.4 percent, and in the last year alone, stockholders have seen their shares rise nearly 30 percent.

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That growth becomes all the more impressive when one considers that this year has perhaps been the most challenging for Apple's shareholders. Less than two months ago, Jobs announced his resignation as Apple's CEO, prompting some to wonder if Apple's shares would be negatively affected. They weren't.

Earlier this week, Apple announced the iPhone 4S, disappointing many who believed the Cupertino, Calif.-based company would show off two new iPhones, including an iPhone 5 featuring a host of major updates. But as before, Apple's shares were not negatively affected. And now, even though Jobs has died, it doesn't appear that Apple's stock will be hit hard by the news.

Apple's resiliency on Wall Street has much to do with the company Jobs left to CEO Tim Cook. Thanks to Jobs' vision, Apple is wildly successful, generating billions of dollars in profit every quarter. What's more, Jobs had the foresight to leave the company in the hands of Cook and other top executives that most shareholders believe, will be able to continue to deliver value to customers.

"We believe Tim Cook is well qualified for his new role as CEO and has at his disposal a deep and talented executive team in the areas of supply chain management, hardware/software design and product marketing," Canaccord analyst Mchael Walkley said in a statement following Jobs' death that echoed that sentiment.

Shareholder concerns have also been quelled by analysts, like Walkley, who believe in the stock. Based on estimates from 52 Apple analysts, the average target price for the company's stock over the next year is $450.

For his part, Walkley says that Apple's shares won't be affected by Jobs' death, and he has reiterated a $545 price target on Apple's shares.

Apple did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.