Owning 5.4 million shares of Apple stock is a mixed blessing. On the one hand, you have a huge fortune. On the other, you can lose $214 million in a week. This is just one of the reasons I have chosen not to own 5.4 million shares of Apple stock.
"Poor" Steve Jobs
Apple's stock has been riding high for nearly a year heading into Macword, and had briefly peaked around $200 a share. On Macworld Eve (January 14th) the stock had a listed price of $178.78, making Steve Jobs' 5.4 million shares of Apple stock worth $965,412,000.
Today, just a week later, the stock is worth $139.07, dropping him down to a modest $750,978,000. This means Steve's net worth is now more or less identical to yours and mine. Factor in Steve's $1 a year salary, and things are looking pretty grim for the Jobs household. A number of factors contributed to the decline, including a somewhat over-inflated stock price to begin with, lackluster product announcements at Macworld, disappointing 2nd quarter sales projections (despite record 1st quarter earnings), and an overall looming recession. Unfortunately, these 4 factors combined to form a profit eating monster J.J. Abrams couldn't have imagined, and it gobbled up $214 million of Job's portfolio. Faithful Macenstein reader and stock wizard extraordinaire dersky estimates it will take Apple 3 years to get back to the $200 mark, although he says he won't be selling his Apple stock any time soon. Apple is and always has been a long-term investment filled with wild highs and lows.
In the meantime, Steve's got a family, and kids gotta eat. Maybe it's time Steve got a raise from that borderline indentured servitude $1 salary Apple grudgingly bestows upon him each year.
[UPDATE: Looks like we may have to pass around the collection plate... Steve may be even more destitute than we initially thought. Faithful Macenstein reader Shackelford points out Jobs owns 5,546,451 shares of Apple, so he really lost about $220 million.]
[UPDATE 2: Fortune is reporting that if you throw in Disney's recent loses, Steve is down a cool $1 billion since Christmas. ]
News source: Macenstein