March 2, 2011 – NEW YORK (Reuters) - Apple Inc Chief Executive Steve Jobs surprised investors by presenting the company's new iPad personally at an event in San Francisco on Wednesday, calming some fears about his health and helping the company's stock higher.
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The following is immediate reaction from investors and analysts.
MICHAEL BINGER, FUND MANAGER, THRIVENT FINANCIAL
"Personally I think it was great he (Jobs) showed up. It shows he's still involved with the company on bigger events and decisions."
"Even if he never comes back -- and I think the market has accepted that he's not coming back as a day-to-day operator -- for 10 years he's been building and incubating and grooming an army of innovators there."
DAVID DILLON, PORTFOLIO MANAGER, HIGHMARK CAPITAL
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"It was a surprise to me. I was encouraged he was there."
"But he's on indefinite leave. I don't know if he's ever going to fully step back in. The company itself is executing pretty well, I have a lot respect for (Apple chief operating officer) Tim Cook."
"The (stock) valuation looks really reasonable and a lot of that is because there is concern with the potential loss of an iconic CEO that's very well respected and irreplaceable."
MATTHEW THORNTON, ANALYST, AVIAN SECURITIES
On new iPad pricing:
"It's going to ding the (Motorola) Xoom sales. You're going to have serious competition."
ROBERT LUTTS, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, CABOT MONEY MANAGEMENT
"Steve Jobs is the most important asset for Apple without a doubt and that's why investors are so curious about whether he will remain and continue to have an impact. The stock went up after his appearance but not as much as it normally would if Apple had a fully healthy CEO."
CHANNING SMITH, CO-MANAGER, CAPITAL ADVISORS GROWTH FUND
"It's definitely a good surprise. Investors know his illness is pretty serious, but it's comforting to know that while he's in his supposed leave of absence, he's still involved."
"The new product looks good and the key is they continue to innovate, which is what we want to watch rather than looking at Steve Jobs."
VIJAY RAKESH, MANAGING DIRECTOR, STERNE AGEE
"It's pretty positive. It's definitely a sign that he's in good enough health."
"People think it (the stock) spiked too much on the fact that he was on stage. I actually think it's warranted. If he wasn't on stage the stock would have been down 5 percent."
DANIEL ERNST, RESEARCH ANALYST, HUDSON SQUARE
"I am personally happy to see Mr. Jobs on stage, and it's great for his fans too. However, I continue to believe it has zero investment implications. A good leader builds a great team around him, and Steve has done that."
"It will be sad to see Steve eventually step down, but he has a deep bench of stars ready to take his place."
On the new iPad:
"Like the iPhone 4 versus iPhone 3, this is more evolution than revolution, but there is a lot to love. The dual core CPU will mean a lot to those that multi-task and of course the video cameras were what people were asking for. Bottom line, the competition is so far behind."
(Reporting by Liana Baker, Sinead Carew, Angela Moon)