Leon Cooperman has no love lost for the iPhone maker, according to what he said in an interview with CNBC today. Just like we reported in our analysis today that long Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) investment does not seem as popular with hedge funds as it did an year ago. Cooperman, founder of Omega Advisors, said that he prefers putting his money in QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), whose structure and business stays independent of Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL). He also said that Apple faces tough competition from Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930). Cooperman was less than thrilled that despite having more than $100 billion on its balance sheet, Apple did not announce a dividend. Omega Advisors still own a sizable position in Apple, it is just not as big as it was before. The Q3 13f filing shows that the fund owns 266,404 shares of the company, however we do not know to what extent the holding has been reduced.
Other than Apple, Cooperman also talked about how he bought the position in Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE:FCX), when the stock was tumbling. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE:FCX) declined more than 16 percent after the company announced the acquisition of McMoRan Exploration and Plains Exploration. He likes the stock and its one of his top picks for 2013.
Cooperman said that the rounds of QE have made stocks an incredibly attractive investment, especially when you see how difficult and low yielding the bond market has become. The legendary investor also mentioned a ‘mystery’ stock that he believes will double in value in 2013 and that is when he will reveal its identity. His favorite companies include Crocs, Inc. (NASDAQ:CROX), Chimera Investment Corporation (NYSE:CIM), Qualicorp (Brazilian healthcare) and Tetragon Financial Group Limited (AMS:TFG).
In the Energy sector Cooperman favors, SandRidge Energy Inc. (NYSE:SD), Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL) and Atlas Energy LP (NYSE:ATLS). Other than QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), he believes that VeriFone Systems Inc (NYSE:PAY), Motorola Solutions Inc (NYSE:MSI) and Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) also have immense potential.