Investors started getting anxious when Apple reps told reporters that the company chief’s health was a “private matter” during an earnings call on Monday.
So now the rumor mill is going into overdrive: cynics would say it’s attempt to stymie the stock’s dip at the news (it’s bouncing back — it’s already up 1.56% today to $164.49). Apple is reportedly churning out a new story to the press: Steve is just fine. Associates assert that he’s “doing well” and is “cancer free.” (Four years ago, Jobs was treated for pancreatic cancer.)
Jobs reportedly told associates and board members that he was dealing with nutritional problems – which in turn could lead to his notable weight loss recently. The nutritional issues were so severe, Jobs had to have surgery to resolve them. Furthermore: Jobs appeared to be ill when he introduced the iPhone 3G in San Francisco this month.
Analysts say if the 53-year-old tech guru leaves Apple, the stock could sink as much as 25%. So is Apple putting on a happy face and hoping for the best? It’s too early to say – but if history repeats itself, Jobs will have to maintain a low profile if he wants to keep any problems mum. When he was truly ill in 2004, at least one company hired private investigators to follow Jobs in attempt to find out just how sick he really was.