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1/24/2011
08:08 AM
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Apple Shares Head Lower On Jobs Health Worries

The iPad manufacturer's refusal to disclose any details about its CEO's condition has some investors worried.

Shares of Apple slumped Friday as investors continued to mull the fate of CEO Steve Jobs, who last week said he would take his second health-related leave of absence from the company in as many years.

Apple shares closed down 2.1%, to finish the week at $326.72. The shares were flat in pre-market trading Monday.

Steve Jobs used the Jan. 17 Martin Luther King holiday, when stock markets were closed, to announce that he would take "a medical leave of absence so I can focus on my health."

The news raised speculation that Jobs' pancreatic cancer, first diagnosed in 2003, had returned, or that he was suffering complications from a liver transplant he underwent in 2008.

Jobs' announcement was not specific about the health reasons behind his unexpected leave. He said he had put chief operating officer Tim Cook in charge of day-to-day operations, but that he would remain CEO and continue to be involved in major strategic decisions.

"I have great confidence in that Tim and the rest of the executive management team will do a terrific job executing the exciting plans we have in place for 2011," said Jobs. "I love Apple so much and hope to be back as soon as I can."

Since then, Apple's stock has slumped more than 6% as investors pondered the company's future without its innovative CEO, who turned around Apple's fortunes with consumer hits like the iPod, iPhone, and, most recently, the iPad.

The company's announcement last week that it posted record revenue of $26.74 billion and record profits of $6 billion in its most recent quarter did not offset investors' concerns about Jobs.

Some shareholders have criticized Apple for disclosing only scant information behind Jobs' latest departure, given his importance to the company.

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