Jim Chanos Says Apple Shares Have Risen Too Far, Too Fast

Jim Chanos, who oversees $6 billion as the founder and president at Kynikos Associates Ltd., said he’s skeptical on Apple Inc. after the shares surged 71 percent this year.

Chanos prefers owning Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) to hedge wagers on declines in companies such as Hewlett-Packard Co., he said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “In the Loop” with Betty Liu. The money manager, who rose to fame shorting Enron Corp., said he’s shorting natural gas stocks and wouldn’t own Treasuries.

“We’re getting afraid of heights,” Chanos said about Apple’s share price. “It has had an enormous run. Something about it is holding us back in that it’s had such a run.”

Apple (AAPL), the world’s most valuable company, reached a record $702.10 a share on Sept. 19. Analysts estimate profit at the iPad and iPhone maker may jump 60 percent in 2012 and increase 20 percent in 2013, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Microsoft shares have rallied 19 percent in 2012. The company’s Surface tablet, designed to combat Apple’s lead in the market, will go on sale later this year. The device will probably be cheaper than the iPad, Chanos said. Earnings at the world’s largest software maker increased 3.4 percent in 2012 and are estimated to jump 11 percent next year, based on analyst projections tracked by Bloomberg.

Chanos sees more losses in natural gas producers after the stocks rebounded, he said at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York. A measure of oil and gas producers in the S&P 500 has rallied 17 percent from a low on June 4. He said U.S. government bonds may decline as the Federal Reserve starts a third round of asset purchases to boost economic growth.

“You’re taking an awful lot of principal risk for very little reward,” Chanos said about Treasuries.

To contact the reporter on this story: Inyoung Hwang in New York at ihwang7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lynn Thomasson at lthomasson@bloomberg.net

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