Apple Investors to Look for Clues on Jobs’ Health

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Steve Jobs at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June
Source: Reuters

Industry and investor concerns about the health of Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) Chief Executive Steve Jobs have not dimmed more than a month after he appeared dramatically thinner at the firm’s annual developers’ conference, The New York Post said on Monday.

While blogs and industry watchers had wondered whether 53-year-old Jobs was suffering complications from, or a reappearance of, the pancreatic cancer cured by surgery nearly four years ago, Apple had said he was fighting a “common bug” and was taking antibiotics.

Part of the reason for the concern over Jobs’ health is that Apple has no succession plan in place, the paper said.

Hedge fund investors of Apple, which is scheduled to report results on Monday, are very worried, a Wall Street source who has spoken with some of the company’s stakeholders told the Post.

Multiple sources, who have met with Jobs in the weeks surrounding the introduction of the iPhone 3G on July 11, said they came away troubled by his thin appearance, the newspaper said on its Web site.

Apple has a history of dragging its heels when it comes to admitting that Jobs is sick. His October 2003 cancer diagnosis wasn’t disclosed until after the removal of a pancreatic tumor.

Recent reports have suggested that the company had known about Jobs’ condition for nine months prior to the public announcement, the paper said.

According to a report in Fortune, Jobs waited some nine months while he tried alternative medicine — including dietary approaches — to try and cure himself.

Finally, after being urged by members of Apple’s Board of Directors and others, Jobs had the surgery on July 31, 2004 at Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto.

Apple could not be immediately reached for comment.

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