Analyst: Apple Statement Raises Issues
Senior Editor, CNBC
Investors still seem to think Apple is worth something. Shares of the computer giant are holding strong so far today--as the company released information saying it found NO misconduct by CEO Steve Jobs in regards to backdating stock options between 1997 and 2001. But--not all is well with Jobs and Apple according to Christopher Whalen. He's senior vice-president at Institutional Risk Analytics.
On "Morning Call" Whalen reacted rather strongly to part of the statement released by Apple. It stated in part that Jobs was aware of some favorable grant dates and even suggested some of the dates--but that he did NOT benefit from them. Whalen says "it's a bit of a smoking gun" to say something like that. Jobs was a big picture guy according to Whalen--and he never really dealt with smaller issues. It raises issues--according to Whalen.
Whalen went on to say it was interesting that this information was coming out today--the last day of the year and just before New Year's--and the markets are "quiet."
Whalen says the SEC (it's investigating) will have to give Apple the real seal of approval before the company is out of the woods. Stock buyers right now--according to Whalen--are just looking for large caps to put their money in--and Apple is one of those. He says Apple has the resources to avoid something like this--and it doesn't need its image tarnished.