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Gundlach: 'We Own Apple' (Update 2)

Updated from 10:33 a.m. EST to provide comments from Brendt Stallings in the fourth and tenth paragraphs and change fund to portfolio.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Apple (AAPL - Get Report) finally has a friend in Jeffrey Gundlach.

In an interview Thursday with TheStreet at DoubleLine Capital's Los Angeles headquarters, Gundlach said that the investment firm actually owns Apple in one of its equity portfolio.

"We bought it at $405 the first time, and I think our average cost is below $425. I said Apple would go below $425. I wasn't committed to buying it, but I think Apple is an interesting play," Gundlach said during the interview. DoubleLine Equity's portfolio managers bought the shares as part of their equity strategy.

In a separate interview, DoubleLine's portfolio manager Brendt Stallings noted that Apple was bought in its Equities Growth Portfolio for its "free option on the next product." Stallings noted that Samsung has some great products and is taking share, and that Apple is not going to maintain its dominance in the smartphone market. However, at the valuation it was at (average price is around $420), "we're basically getting a free option that they [Apple] come out with another product."

With Apple shares down 16.9% year to date, Gundlach noted that Apple has become detached from the stock market, which has rallied strongly this year. The Nasdaq is up 14.5% year to date, while the S&P 500 is up 17.77%.

Apple shares were higher in Friday trading, up 0.29% to $443.44.

"Apple's sorta cheap," Gundlach said. Excluding the company's enormous cash hoard, shares are trading at roughly seven times earnings, and are priced as if no new products are coming to market. "I sorta like Apple."

Rumors suggest that Apple will refresh its iPhone later this year. In addition to the fingerprint technology that may come with the latest iPhone, iOS 7 is getting a major revamp, with Jony Ive, Apple's senior vice president of industrial design, now taking a more active role in software. Ive is responsible for the hardware designs Apple has released in the past, but with the management shakeup in 2012 that led to Scott Forstall's ouster Ive now has a more active role as it pertains to software.

On Apple's latest earnings call, CEO Tim Cook noted the company has some great new products scheduled for later this year and 2014. "Our teams are hard at work on some amazing new hardware, software, and services that we can't wait to introduce this fall and throughout 2014. We continue to be very confident in our future product plans," Cook said.

Stallings noted that Cook has a tough act to follow after Steve Jobs left the company, and that he was happy with the job Cook was doing as CEO of the tech giant.
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