Laffont’s confidence in Apple is based on two assumptions. The first stems from its mobile growth opportunities. Out of two billion cellphones, Apple is selling 150 million smartphones. He believes Apple could easily triple or quadruple that number over the next five years.
Second, Laffont is anticipating that investors will question Apple’s ability to reach a market cap of $1 trillion and sell. As a result, Apple will buy back shares.
“You can counter the size of your market cap by buying shares back,” Laffont said. “So our hope is that the company will buy a lot of stock back, which will make the stock price go up a lot without the market cap expanding.”
Among other tech stocks, Laffont has a wary eye on Facebook and Yahoo.
Laffont said Facebook is controversial, noting that it was built before the debut of smartphones.
“It is a company that is sort of PC-based,” he said, adding that social networking has become a casual encounter better positioned for a mobile platform.
Laffont cited Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram as a smart move because it will help Facebook integrate on mobile, but he said the purchase was also a sign of weakness: “I don’t think it’s going to be so easy for Facebook.”
As for Yahoo, Laffont said the decision to appoint Marissa Mayer as CEOwas an “unbelievable coup from the board. I think these new elements of the board have really paid off.” Laffont said time will tell if Mayer can turn the business around.
—By CNBC.com’s Madeline Laskoski
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Coatue Management owns shares in Amazon.com, Apple, and Google. No disclosure information was available for Philippe Laffont.