A long-time Apple bull no more

July 23, 2013: 8:11 PM ET

Hedge fund manager Phillippe Laffont of Coatue Management isn't thrilled with the company's prospects.

130624125705-apple-stock-620xa
FORTUNE -- One longtime Apple bull doesn't sound so bullish on Apple now.

Appearing at Fortune's Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colo., hedge fund manager Phillippe Laffont of Coatue Management sounded lukewarm at best when asked about Apple's (AAPL) prospects. At the end of March, Apple represented 6.71% of the $7.9 billion fund, good for the fifth largest position.

A few months ago, Laffont told Bloomberg TV that Apple's stock was cheap by any measure.

But when asked at Brainstorm Tech whether Apple has a bright future, Laffont said that "the stock reflects great uncertainty about whether the best days are over." The fact that the markets for tablets and smartphones are already saturated in developed markets, he said, concerns him. As well as the fact that Apple has alway been intent on developing new technology in-house -- a luxury that he's not sure the company can afford anymore. "Apple just seems like everything has to be invented there," said Laffont. "That gets me really worried."

MORE: Uber is starting to look like a lifestyle brand

Laffont, known as a "Tiger Cub" because he is a protege of legendary hedge fund manager Julian Robertson of Tiger Management, said that investing in tech is actually pretty simple. He tries to identify big trends and then makes bets on them. One big idea he's betting on now is the ramp-up in data capacity in homes. In the competition to provide that capacity, "we think the cable companies are in a good position." He also likes the phone tower business, because of the demand for LTE service.

What is he not bullish on? The road leads back to Apple's core business. "The theme we don't like so much is the people that make the phones and tablets," said Laffont. "But content, we love content. Everyone has a screen and they want more content." The bottom line: "Content, mobile broadband, yes. Hardware and anything related to PCs, no."

Apple shareholders can take solace in the fact that there is at least one stock that Laffont likes less than Apple right now. "I wouldn't buy Intel (INTC) at any price," said Laffont.

Join the Conversation
Current Issue
  • Give the gift of Fortune
  • Get the Fortune app
  • Subscribe
Powered by WordPress.com VIP.