Wall Street not surprised by Apple CFO's retirement, expecting smooth transition

Posted:
in AAPL Investors edited March 2014
The announcement that Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer will retire later this year, making way for Luca Maestri to take over the position, was not surprising to investors on Wall Street, who generally responded with confidence on Tuesday.

Oppenheimer
Peter Oppenheimer speaking on Apple's new corporate campus last October.


Shares of Apple were up less than 1 percent in morning trading on Tuesday, as Wall Street was generally unfazed by the news that Oppenheimer will retire at the end of September. Oppenheimer has served as Apple's CFO for 10 years, and his entire tenure at the company has lasted more than 18.

Reacting to the news on Tuesday, analyst Brian White of Cantor Fitzgerald issued a note to investors noting that although Oppenheimer is only 51, he oversaw a period of rapid growth and big shareholder returns at Apple. And Apple's hiring of Maestri in early 2013 was also a clear sign to White that a transition was in the making.

During his tenure, Oppenheimer oversaw a major share repurchase program, the largest of its kind, utilizing Apple's considerable cash position to invest the company in itself. Apple also began paying a quarterly dividend to investors under the guidance of Oppenheimer.

Apple's annual revenue grew from $8 billion to a massive $171 billion under Oppenheimer's watch.

Luca Maestri
Apple corporate controller Luca Maestri.


Analyst Maynard Um of Wells Fargo also said Tuesday that Oppenheimer's upcoming departure, and the promotion of Maestri, did not come as a surprise to him. He also expects a "fairly seamless" transition to the new CFO -- a process that will begin gradually in June before Oppenheimer officially departs at the end of September.

Oppenheimer leaves Apple with a "strong financial management structure," analyst Mark Moskowitz with J.P. Morgan said his own note to investors. He doesn't expect much to change under Maestri.

"Maestri has been well regarded by the investment community, in our view, and we think he has the skill sets to successfully lead the finance operations at Apple," Moskowitz said.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member

    This MUST be bad for Apple; the stock is up today.

  • Reply 2 of 11
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

    If Cook steps down the stock will go up 10%.

     

    Not saying I want that to happen.


    I'd expect AAPL to crater if Cook were to step down.  The only way Wall Street would respond favorable would be if Apple announced that some exciting known quantity CEO was being hired.  But to announce that Cook were leaving would set up a firestorm of theories about why Apple is failing.

  • Reply 3 of 11
    A healthy and trim guy will take over a fat guy's post.
  • Reply 4 of 11
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member
    Originally Posted by water cooler View Post

    A healthy and trim guy will take over a fat guy's post.

     

    Sounds like a bad idea for a CFO. Particularly since the phrase “fat cat” applies to the wealthiest people.

  • Reply 5 of 11
    etsleeetslee Posts: 18member
    He's only 51?! Yikes, working at Apple must accelerate the aging process.
  • Reply 6 of 11
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,263member

    The author was correct until a few minutes ago when AAPL dropped back down to almost where it started today. Anything related to Apple will mess up AAPL, good or bad.

  • Reply 7 of 11
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member
    Originally Posted by etslee View Post

    He's only 51?! Yikes, working at Apple must accelerate the aging process.



    Apple ages people faster than the presidency.

     

     

    Because they’re actually doing work at Apple. HI-YO!

  • Reply 8 of 11
    island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,217member

    First thing that has to go is that suit and tie.

  • Reply 9 of 11
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,778member
    sog35 wrote: »
    Microsoft stock took off when Ballmer announced his retirement.

    That was hardly a surprise though ... :D
  • Reply 10 of 11
    sog35 wrote: »
    If Cook steps down the stock will go up 10%.

    Not saying I want that to happen.

    Judging from Amazon, if Apple's profits plummet $40 billion to $1 billion loss, the shares will go up 1,000%.
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