Brian Marshall, Gleacher & Co. analyst, “has flashed out his thoughts with the unthinkable: ‘[Apple COO] Tim Cook’s third time at the helm might be permanent.’ Marshall notes that, ‘The last time this happened (six-month period starting in January, 2009), we used that weakness in the stock as an opportunity to get constructive and upgraded Apple to a Buy at approximately $80. However we believe there are significant differences this time around,’ namely Apple’s not a hidden gem now, there are ‘marginal incremental buyers’” of the stock, and Jobs used the word ‘hope.’ As a result, Marshall suggests ‘We expect [Cook] will become the full-time CEO of Apple this year with Jobs hopefully serving as a senior advisor.’ Marshall says he would ‘get aggressive’ on the stock at $300. But he also reiterates a Buy rating on the stock and a $355 price target,” Tiernan Ray reports for Barron’s.
JP Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz, “suggests Jobs will bounce back. ‘While not knowing the details behind the current medical leave, we point out that Mr. Jobs has demonstrated a great resolve to improve his health previously, emboldened by the attitude and philosophy that helped him lead.’ Apple has been without rival in large cap growth in tech over the past decade, even with Cook at the helm, and Moskowitz expects much of the same this time around,” Ray reports. “Ben Reitzes, Barclays Capital: Reiterates an Overweight rating and $420 price target. ‘Apple’s succession plan is obvious to us – Tim Cook is a proven executive who can handle the pressure and knows how to run the inner workings of Apple in Steve’s shadow. We believe Apple is in capable hands.’ Fundamentals for Apple ‘obviously remain very strong.'”
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