The Securities and Exchange Commission is reportedly still investigating whether Apple misled investors about Steve Jobs' health. That the company's stock has nearly doubled in the intervening six months is apparently beside the point — as it should be.
Back in January, word leaked that the Securities and Exchange Commission was informally looking into whether Steve Jobs misled investors when the Apple CEO downplayed his health problems just nine days before taking medical leave. At the time, Apple stock had dropped to just $78 per share on the news Jobs would be out of the office for at least six months.
Since then, company shares have zoomed back up to $145 and now trade at $135 (see chart below). But the SEC is still on the case, a Bloomberg source says:
A pivotal question for regulators is what Apple's board knew at the time of Jobs's Jan. 5 announcement that he had a hormone imbalance and a Jan. 14 statement that he was taking a five-and-a-half month medical leave, said the [source], who declined to be identified because the probe is confidential. Jobs went on to have a liver transplant during his leave. SEC investigators want to be sure that Jobs's January disclosures didn't mislead investors, the [source] said.
The point of securities enforcement isn't to make sure investors get rich, but to ensure they are treated like the owners of the company and told the truth. Those who bought Apple shares at its peak of nearly $200 per share must be especially keen to find our what Apple knew and when the company knew it.
(Top pic: Jobs at Apple headquarters, October 2008. Via Getty Images.)