Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) plunged 7 percent in after-hours trading on Wednesday following the stunning announcement that Steve Jobs was resigning as the company’s chief executive.

Most analysts seem rather unconcerned by Jobs departure, citing that Apple is a behemoth that is loaded with brilliant managers and boasts more stellar products in the pipeline.

Even if Apple shares take a further dive on Thursday, some feel that should provide an extraordinary buying opportunity for investors who had previously been locked out of the Apple bandwagon.

Farhad Manjoo made a bold prediction in Slate: “On Thursday morning, shares of Apple are going to plummet.”

Then he added the proviso: “I have one word for you: Buy. There's a good chance that you'll get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to invest at a discount in a firm that will continue to define and dominate the tech industry.”

Manjoo has no concerns about Apple’s long-term viability.

“There are few sure things in tech, but this is something you can take to the bank: Apple isn't going to die now that Steve Jobs has resigned as CEO,” he wrote. “It's not even going to stumble.”

However, a company can’t lose an iconic visionary like Jobs without some worries.

Lawrence Glazer, managing partner at Boston-based Mayflower Advisors, told International Business Times: “Investors have flocked to Apple not just for their great products, but also for the imagination, innovation and execution of Steve Jobs. Despite a well-articulated succession plan for the near term, the stock will be under some pressure as investors assess the impact.”
Glazer noted, however, that the company’s large cash position and dominant product lines will buffer the short-term concerns.

“Longer term, the impact [will be] much greater as technology moves very quickly and so do technology investors,” he noted.

“The PC and networking darlings of a few years ago can attest to this.”

Anna N. Danielova, assistant professor of finance at DeGroote School of Business in Hamilton, Canada, also believes that Apple stock will likely decline -- at least in the short-term -- since Jobs is so closely identified with the company.

“Steve Jobs was too instrumental [in] Apple success,” she told IB Times.
However, she added that investors will probably regain their footing and gaze admiringly at the company’s next batch of products.

“It [comes] down to Apple's pipeline,” she noted.

“Consumers are eagerly waiting for new the iPhone release, newer versions of iPods and iPads are to follow. So, if there is enough in the pipeline for next several years, the reaction to [Jobs’] departure might be mitigated.”

Apple shares have risen about 13.6 percent – the company is on the brink of supplanting Exxon-Mobil (NYSE: XOM) as the most valuable corporation on the planet.

But shares remain moderately valued – the stock is trading at a forward P/E ratio of only 11.7.

Thus, in the event shares drop in Thursday’s trading – even in the dog days of late summer – a flurry of investors may scoop up shares at prices they would consider a bargain.