Legendary fund manager Bill Miller of Legg Mason ran the best performing mutual fund last year – up 40 per cent, thanks to a big bet on homebuilding stocks, which killed it in 2012.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Miller had some kind words for Apple stock, which has been subjected to a brutal sell-off since September.
Apple shares, says Miller, are coming under fire because investors are starting to think the company’s products may be losing their luster. However, he doesn’t see this as the case.
In [Miller’s] opinion, “Apple is much more like Nike, a consumer brand with great loyalty.” It is a typically contrarian and optimistic view from the 63-year-old former military intelligence officer, who appears to be enjoying a second youth as stock picking comes back into fashion, rescuing a reputation as both one of the best and one of the worst investors of recent decades.
For instance, were Apple to keep all $137bn on its balance sheet and just put future free cash flow into the dividend, “that alone would put the stock up close to 50 per cent.”
Miller told the FT he liked big technology names like Apple – even “priced with no regard to the underlying fundamentals.”