Which moves Apple more: Over 1 million iPhone 3G S units sold in first 3 days or Steve Jobs’ liver?

“Apple investors will be judging two competing headlines as the market opens on June 22: Will they worry about the mortality of Jobs, long believed to be the irreplaceable creative and aesthetic powerhouse of Apple, or will they decide that the successful launch of the latest iPhone is sufficiently good news to warrant buying more Apple stock?” Arik Hesseldahl asks for BusinessWeek.

“The liver-transplant news could in fact turn out to be a positive, said Charles Wolf, an analyst at Needham & Co. in New York and a longtime Apple watcher, on June 21. Assuming the surgery was successful and Jobs suffers no serious complications, the prognosis is generally good for liver-transplant patients,” Hesseldahl reports. “This fact would seem to remove much of uncertainty about Jobs’ ability to continue on the job for the foreseeable future, Wolf says. ‘What Apple would seem to want to do is defuse the ‘Jobs premium’ around this stock. The last year has just been crazy with rumors that he’s healthy or not healthy, moving the stock 5 or 10 points,’ he says. ‘That hasn’t been good for the company, it hasn’t been good for investors, it hasn’t been good for anyone.'”

Hesseldahl reports, “Apple, which did not comment for this story, maintains that Jobs is expected to be back at work by the end of the month, though it has not yet been more specific about the date of his expected return.”

Hesseldahl reports, “Whether his return is full-time or part-time is almost beside the point. Any return by Jobs to his office at 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino will be seen as good news by Apple investors and fans. ‘It takes some uncertainty out of the Apple story,’ says Needham’s Wolf. ‘I talked to investors who thought seriously that Jobs would not return to Apple ever. Now it all looks like good news. He has a pretty good chance of being around for another five years at least.'”

Full article here.

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