Leon Cooperman, founder of Omega Advisors, criticized various policies and practices at Apple Inc (AAPL) during the Value Investing Congress, reports the Wall Street Journal. That is not to say that AAPL isn’t amongst Cooperman’s favorite stocks – it is. But, he doesn’t agree with its financial policies.
Leon Cooperman Says Apple Financial Policies Don’t ‘Make Sense’ to Him
Leon Cooperman explains it like this: Apple has around $80 billion in cash, but it doesn’t pay dividends and it doesn’t buy back its stock. While it is hard to be critical of the wildly successful company, Cooperman thinks “their financial policies are somewhat destructive” and says that not offering dividends or buying back stock “doesn’t make sense” to him.
Leon Cooperman Loves Stocks, Likes Gold, Shuns Bonds
Leon Cooperman is still bullish on AAPL though. In fact, Cooperman is bullish on the equities markets in general. “I think stocks are the best house in the neighborhood,” said Cooperman. He was quick to add, “It is not clear whether it is a good neighborhood or bad neighborhood.” As such, Cooperman is long on most of his positions. By his admission he is “more long than any hedge fund you talk to.” Cooperman’s favorite stocks include Qualcomm Inc (QCOM), KKR Financial Holdings LLC (KFN), Boston Scientific Corp (BSX), E*Trade Financial Corp (ETFC), and Transocean Ltd (RIG). Cooperman is also bullish on gold, explaining that he “could see gold moving higher.” Cooperman is not however a fan of bonds. he said, “I wouldn’t be caught dead owning a U.S. government bond… Not because I have a problem with the credit. I have a problem with paying 35 percent on the 2 percent to Uncle Sam, and then have a 2 to 3 percent rate of inflation,” he said. “It’s confiscation of my capital. I think I’m too smart to play that game.”