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Renita Jablonski: It’s annual shareholders meeting day at Apple. Investors are likely to lob some tough questions at company executives. Whether they get the answers may be another story. Marketplace’s Rico Gagliano reports.
Rico Gagliano: Tom Krazit covers Apple for CNet.com. How would he describe the state of the company?
Tom Krazit: Uh, well, y’know, it’s an interesting time.
That’s putting it mildly. Apple’s stock is down about 50 percent from nine months ago. Not unheard of for a tech firm these days. But Apple’s also got this other problem: the mysterious illness of CEO-slash-guru Steve Jobs.
Krazit: He has said he had some sort of a hormonal imbalance. And then he said that his health problems had grown “more complex.”
That was mid-January, and all Apple has said since is that Jobs — who is a cancer survivor — is on sick leave ’til June. So at today’s meeting, some shareholders will want to know what’s in Apple’s future, either with Jobs or without him.
Yahoo tech blogger Chris Null predicts they’ll be disappointed:
Chris Null: You’re dealing with a company that is completely opposed to giving out information.
Null says that secrecy works well for Apple when it’s building anticipation of a new product. But when it comes to their CEO’s health, it could backfire. The SEC has already launched an informal investigation into how and when Apple alerted shareholders to Jobs’ illness.
In Los Angeles, I’m Rico Gagliano for Marketplace.
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