Whenever Steve Jobs has taken medical leave in the past, three things have always happened:
1. Sick individuals try and spread "Jobs is dead" stories on the web.
2. Apple's stock price drops.
3. The mainstream media will run reports on whether Apple can survive without the turtle-necked jumper fan.
And whilst there's nowt you can do about point one, you can act on the other two. Because, although there's no disputing that Jobs is Apple, the Cupertino company is in safe hands with the more than capable Tim Cook and there will, without doubt, be a roadmap for at least the next few years circulating around One Infinite Loop that details the launches of a wealth of market-leading devices.
And with the Apple stock prices taking a dive following Jobs' email detailing his absence on Monday, now might be the best time to jump on board and invest in the company, with analysts predicting huge sales for the world's biggest tech company in 2011.
Morgan Stanley analyst Kathy Huberty stated: "We are buyers on any meaningful pullback of Apple's share price. We expect the company to report strong December quarter results Tuesday night and continue to believe our bull case of CY11 $25 EPS (vs. consensus of $20.68) is increasingly likely on the back of stronger than expected iPhone/iPad shipments and gross margins".
Going forward, the investment specialist is predicting that 100 million iPhones will shift in 2011, along with 40 million iPads (against original forecasts of 72 million and 30 million) and we dare say a few Macbooks, iMacs and iPods will fly off of the shelves as well.
Huberty also predicted big results for Apple in Asia: "In addition to upward revisions from the recent Verizon launch, our meetings highlighted long iPhone lead times in China given strong demand", she said.
For Apple's Q4 2010 earnings Morgan Stanley is predicting $23.9 billion in revenue and $5.25 EPS on estimated sales of 16 million iPhones, 5.5 millions iPads, 17 million iPods and 4 million Macs.
Whilst Apple is rocking with the news of Jobs' latest health scare, the analysts seem certain it will recover. Let's hope the same can be said of its CEO - get well soon Steve.