Russian Billionaire Bets Big on Apple (AAPL) Stock

Russia’s richest man Alisher Usmanov told Bloomberg that he recently spent about $100 million buying Apple (AAPL) shares in anticipation that the company will turn things around.

“I believe in the future of this company even after Steve Jobs,” he said to the news agency. “When the company lost $100 billion of its market value, it was a good time to buy its shares, as the capitalization should rebound.”

“Nothing is eternal, but for the next three years I believe Apple is a very promising investment, especially given large dividend payments and buybacks,” the billionaire added.

Usmanov, who is the world’s 35th richest man with a fortune at $19.8 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, has made some very profitable trades in the past. His Digital Sky Technologies [DST] gained international prominence when it spent $200 million on Facebook (FB) stock in the summer of 2009. DST raked in $1.4 billion on that trade following Facebook’s IPO in 2012.

Not everyone however, seems to agree with Usmanov’s bet. On Monday, Sanford Bernstein’s Toni Sacconaghi predicted that “if Apple does not introduce a new iPhone or lower-priced phone in CQ3 [Apple’s fiscal Q4], it is quite possible that iPhone’s smartphone market share could drop into the single digits.”

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