Apple shares slip as Steve Jobs' liver decides future of tech industry

It seems the wealthy early investors in Jobs’ Mob view Apple as a sort of benign dictatorship – with the news that the turtlenecked one is taking medical leave severely impacting shares.

Last week, Apple shares hit a record high. Following Jobs’ announcement, AAPL shares, reports the Wall Street Journal, slumped as deep as 6.5 percent, potentially wiping $20 billion from market value. 

After the slip, stockholders received slight respite as they realised that this isn’t quite the End Daze, and Jobs’ liver is not Kalki – rebounding and then falling again by 3.7 percent to $335.63. Still, year on year that’s up four percent from the 2010 shut down point at 322.56.

The heretic Ballmer would probably disagree with saintly Apple’s idea that it is the most valuable technology company in the world, but the Wall Street Journal reports that the market cap is at $308 billion keeping it as top dog. 

Talking to Murdoch’s financial mag, Needham analyst Charlie Wolf says now’s a good time to buy because the long term game is, in his eyes, pretty much the same. Apple’s financial gusto is thanks to its “ability to redefine markets and industries going forward”. Not backward – we thought the Egyptians were fond of tablets too, but it’s true you couldn’t shoot birds at fortified pigs on them. 

According to Wolf, whether Jobs floats around the periphery or stays the cultish figurehead, Apple will be ok. TechEye’s Nick Farrell thinks he should take care not to become the first true media martyr of, yes, consumer electronics.

Early investors shouldn’t be worried in the slightest, Goldmine Sex  analyst Bill Shope tells the publication. Remember: “Apple’s multiple of 15.1 times earnings represents a significant historical discount, and we see no direct risk to earnings from this move.” For now though, Apple’s dosh could be “partially distributed to shareholders to stabilise the shares”.

We never thought we’d say it but the industry is treating Jobs as a Titoesque figure – transforming the pale white underdog computer into a prosperous project, and without him at the masthead fans, investors and the press are worried it’ll turn to pot. Analysts seem to agree: take a breather and it’ll be alright.

The public will stay enamoured by the gizmos for some time to come.