ThinkEquity analyst: Apple sell-off due to ‘inexperienced traders,’ nothing new in options story

“Investors expressed some concerns Thursday regarding the latest reports about options grants made to Apple Computer’s enigmatic chief executive officer Steve Jobs,” Paul R. La Monica reports for CNNMoney.

La Monica reports, “Despite the fact that Jobs’ name has surfaced more prominently in the most recent accounts of Apple’s options problems, Wall Street analysts largely shrugged off the news and said that it’s highly unlikely that Jobs would be forced to leave Apple. ‘Any time a CEO is at risk of being, for lack of a better word, forcibly removed, then investors should be concerned. But do I believe that Steve Jobs’ job is at risk? That’s an unequivocal no,’ said Jonathan Hoopes, an analyst with ThinkEquity Partners.”

“Hoopes said he did not think that there was much in the way of significant new disclosures about Apple in the past few days and blamed the sell-off on the inexperienced traders working the holiday week,” La Monica reports. “He added that since the company has previously announced that it is investigating the matter and is planning on restating results, investors shouldn’t fear any major bombshells.”

La Monica reports, “‘Is there anything new here? I don’t think so. Are people more aware of it today? Sure. But there is limited liquidity in the markets due to the holidays,’ Hoopes said. ‘You got a Christmas present to buy the stock yesterday and if it’s down again today, you have another Christmas present.'”

Full article here.
The Chicken Littles sure do leave a lot of cash lying around, don’t they?

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12 Comments

  1. When institutional analysts start telling you not to worry, it’s time ot start worrying.

    Apple has been a star on the stock market scene. These guys have literally hundreds of millions of dollars sunk into APPL. And since Jobs IS Apple, anything that goes bad for him WILL impact the stock price. It happened when they thought he was going to die, and it will again if it looks like he’s going to pay some sort of price (whether it be a massive fine, resignation, or even Martha Stewart-style jail time).

    So here’s what to look out for: If the analysts continue saying such things as ‘only amateur investors are being spooked by this and selling’, watch to see if the holdings of APPL by the big firms drop. If the stock price tends to stay in a static-to-declining range (going up occasionally, but otherwise not gaining for very long), then you are seeing the beginning of the rats leaving the sinking ship. These guys know before any of us what’s going to go down, and the last thing they want is a general panic to rob them of their profits (to hell with yours), so they will manage the PR in this way until they’ve gotten all they can before the situation inevitably collapses.

    You’ve been warned. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”cool mad” style=”border:0;” />

  2. “But there is limited liquidity in the markets due to the holidays”

    Yet Apple had some of it’s highest trading days of the year, with 13% of the company’s public float changing hands in two days this week.

    So it’s clear that a lot of people have lost the faith. But for every seller there’s a buyer.

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