Why is Leon Cooperman Dropping Apple?

macbookA combination of factors has led Omega Advisors’ Leon Cooperman to drop Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) on his investment preference scale — and it has nothing to do with the company’s plunging share price over the last three and a half months of 2012.

“I didn’t lose faith,” Cooperman told CNBC’s Fast Money, referring to the almost 25 percent drop in Apple’s share price from mid-September to the end of December. “We didn’t like the way it was acting, to be honest. It’s a combination of fundamental and technical factors.”

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With Apple deciding not to issue a special dividend for 2012 despite having an estimated $121 billion in cash on its balance sheet, Cooperman said he was not “keen on their financial policy.”

In addition, while the highly popular iPhone was not going away anytime soon, competitors, such as Samsung (SSNLF.PK), were turning out to be worthy, and sustained, challengers. As a result, a few other stocks were now preferable to owning shares of Apple. That included Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), which are “more ubiquitous” and “not just Apple-dependent”.

Cooperman is not dropping Apple like a hot potato just yet, but is “just not as big [in it] as we were before.”

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