Apple shares drop, but rumor on Cook dismissed

SAN FRANCISCO (BestGrowthStock) – Shares of Apple Inc (Read more about Apple stock future.) (AAPL.O: ) slid as much as 5.6 percent Tuesday on rumors its No. 2 executive was departing for Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N: ), but the stock recovered as analysts dismissed the speculation.

Unconfirmed reports on the Internet said Tim Cook, chief operating office and widely regarded as the heir apparent to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, would leave to succeed Mark Hurd as HP’s chief.

Gleacher & Co analyst Brian Marshall, who spoke with Cook on Tuesday, said the reports were untrue. Marshall said he ran into Cook by coincidence and asked him about the rumor.

“He said it was preposterous and he’s very happy at Apple,” Marshall said.

The sharp drop in Apple’s share price occurred at the stock market open, with a flurry of trades in the $275 range before the shares recovered. The stock closed at $291.16 on Monday.

Representatives from Apple and HP declined to comment.

HP is holding its analyst meeting later Tuesday. The company declined to say whether it would name a new CEO at the meeting. Hurd was ousted on August 6.

BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis also doubted Cook was headed to HP.

“We don’t expect that to happen. Whatever Tim would want to achieve at HP he could achieve at Apple. Steve jobs will not be CEO forever. He’s on a short list,” Gillis said.

Apple shares were down 1.4 percent at $287.16 in afternoon trading. HP was up 43 cents, or 1 percent, to $41.69.

(Reporting by Gabriel Madway, Sinead Carew, Ritsuko Ando and David Gaffen; Editing by Maureen Bavdek, Gunna Dickson and John Wallace)

Apple shares drop, but rumor on Cook dismissed