Apple's Jobs Says Hormone Issue Caused Weight Loss

Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs revealed Monday that a hormone imbalance is at the root of weight loss that has prompted speculation about his health.

In a letter, Jobs said he has lost weight throughout last year due to a hormone imbalance that has robbed him of proteins his body needs. He said that doctors have uncovered the reasons behind this condition and treatment is "simple and straightforward."

Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs

Jobs, who is under treatment and expects to regain body mass by late spring, said he plans to remain as CEO of Apple.

The board of the iPhone maker issued a statement on Monday, expressing their support for Jobs.

"Apple is very lucky to have Steve as its leader and CEO, and he deserves our complete and unwavering support during his recuperation," the board said, in its statement. "He most certainly has that from Apple and its Board."

The comments, which may put to rest concerns about Jobs' health, led to an increase in the price of Apple shares. The stock was recently up more than 3 percent to $93.81.

Although there were repeated rumors about Jobs' health throughout most of last year, the speculation intensified in recent weeks after Jobs said he would not be making his annual keynote address at the Macworld conference in San Francisco, which begins Tuesday.

Apple said this year's conference will be its last, and Phil Schiller, a marketing executive, will be giving the company's presentation.

Jobs, 52 years old, is a survivor of pancreatic cancer.

Analysts said they expect the news to relieve a lot of concerns about the company's stock, which has been lagging the broader market.

"It's very positive that he came out and said this," Vijay Rakesh, an analyst at ThinkEquity told Reuters. "I think it does put to rest all the speculation on his health and I think people will now start to focus on the business."

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According to Rakesh, there had been some concern that there would be a "more sinister" post-MacWorld announcement, and this puts that to rest.

Adam Hartner, an analyst at Financial Enhancement Group, said he expects some of the Steve Jobs premium can come back into the stock price.

"We added Apple a couple of months ago when it was in the mid-80s and at that point of time we felt the Steve Jobs' premium was already backed out of the stock price," Hartner said. "So anything that says he's not in bad health is good news and this appears to say he's much better news than the market had anticipated so this upside can be significant."

-Reuters contributed to this report.