Apple shares dropped by five percent during after-hours trading on Thursday, following Steve Jobs' resignation as CEO.
The iconic leader of the world's biggest tech company stepped-down to continue his battle against health issues.
Apple made the announcement following the close of the NASDAQ stock exchange on Wednesday, but after-hours trading saw the company shed an estimated $18.6 billion in market value.
The company closed in New York at $376.18 per share, but in the evening fell $20.18 to $355.99. That's one-twentieth of the company's value.
However, the true test of whether Wall Street thinks Apple can continue in the same rich vein of success without Steve Jobs as CEO will come when trading begins on Thursday.
History suggests that a bigger dip may be incoming. Back in 2009, when Jobs took his first medical leave of absence saw Apple stocks plummet by 10 per cent.
Earlier this month Apple had a brief stint as the world's most valuable company, toppling Exxon Mobil as stocks reached reached record highs.
Cook to the rescue?
Jobs' new role as Chairman of the Board and the quick announcement that Tim Cook will replace Jobs as CEO may help to steady the ship for worried investors.
Cook has been taking on more and more responsibility in the leader's absence and is widely regarded as a safe pair of hands to take the company forward.
It's also interesting to point out that during his second stint as the head of Apple, company shares have grown by 6,681.8 per cent (Forbes).
Link: All Things D
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