By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
January 18, 2011

Excerpts from the analysts’ notes landed on our desk Tuesday morning

Add these to the reactions of Apple (AAPL) analysts that came in Monday.

  • BMO’s Keith Bachman: “First, we wish Steve the best with his health issues.”
  • Bernstein’s Toni Sacconaghi: “Once again, Apple has chosen to provide limited — we would argue inadequate — disclosure about Steve Jobs’ health, which is likely to leave shareholders frustrated, and with more questions than answers.”
  • Merrill Lynch’s Scott Craig: “We view this as a buying opportunity and maintain our Buy rating on valuation, product trends, gross margin tailwinds, and anticipated upward revisions to EPS estimates – very strong fundamentals.”
  • Think Equity’s Rajesh Ghai: “While the duration of Steve Jobs’ leave-of-absence is not known and the lack of clarity is a concern, we expect AAPL’s busy product roadmap, impressive second-rung leadership and its Jobs-inspired culture of innovation to hold the company in good stead over the foreseeable future.”
  • Deutsche Bank’s Chris Whitmore: “We believe Tim Cook is a proven operator and very capable of managing Apple’s day to day operations. We also believe Apple’s product roadmap for the next 12 months is largely set and Cook (and team) will ensure crisp execution on that roadmap.”

  • Barclay’s Ben Reitzes: “While Steve Job’s health has been a constant concern for investors given previous issues and his importance to the company, we believe this announcement will still come as a negative surprise. That said … we believe Apple is in capable hands.”
  • Goldman Sachs’ Bill Shope: “While the stock is likely to face near-term pressure, we believe the long- term fundamentals remain intact and we would reiterate our Conviction Buy on any weakness.”
  • UBS’ Maynard Um: “Though there is likely to be investor concern with regard to Mr. Jobs’ return, we believe Mr. Cook has gained considerable credibility & experience and expect little to change into the forseeable future.”
  • Baird’s William Power: “From when the rumors began in June to shortly after the Jan. 14 [2009] announcement, the stock declined close to 60%, though that was roughly in line with the NASDAQ performance. From mid-January to the time that Jobs rejoined as full-time CEO, the stock jumped over 60% vs. the 23% gain on the NASDAQ.”
  • J.P. Morgan’s Mark Moskowitz: “The totality of these medical leaves does suggest Mr. Jobs’ health wellness profile may not be what investors prefer, but we point out that Apple’s strategic initiatives have not been derailed by past medical leaves.”
  • Gleacher’s Brian Marshall: “Tim Cook’s Third Time at the Helm Might be Permanent… Running a $100 billion annual revenue company while being forced to take periodic medical leaves is not fair to anyone (e.g., most of all to Jobs, AAPL investors or its employees/board). Cook has performed flawlessly in the past as AAPL’s interim CEO and we expect he will become the full-time CEO of Apple this year with Jobs hopefully serving as a senior advisor.”

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