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This stock is a better bet than even U.S. Treasurys, fund manager says

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Nick Griffin, chief investment officer at Munro Partners, is so bullish on one stock, he says it’s a better bet than U.S. Treasurys. The company is Microsoft , which he said has a “really long runway” ahead. “Microsoft is obviously … very resilient and it’s probably the last thing any business is going to turn off,” said Griffin, whose firm has $4.8 billion in assets under management. “It has pricing power with things like Microsoft Teams, and they still haven’t actually charged you fully yet. And it has protection on the cost side because it doesn’t have input costs as a software company,” he told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” Monday. All of these factors, he said, will lead to double-digit earnings-per-share growth for Microsoft for “at least” the next five years. “It’s cheaper than a U.S. Treasury. It grows faster than the U.S. Treasury, and it’s probably got a better balance sheet than the U.S. Treasury. So from our point of view, it’s a fairly safe place to [put your] cash,” Griffin. Short-term U.S. Treasurys have surged in popularity among investors of late amid rising yields. Griffin’s Munro Global Growth Fund has outperformed the S & P 500 this year, although it was down around 15% as of Oct. 7. The S & P 500 saw a roughly 23% tumble over the same period. The fund, much like the S & P 500, is heavily weighted toward tech. Its top holdings include Microsoft, Alphabet , Amazon and other growth stocks. Tech stocks have taken a beating this year as investors fled the growth part of the market amid volatility. Microsoft hasn’t escaped, and is down over 30% year-to-date. Still, analysts have struck an optimistic tone on the stock recently . Some 90% of analysts covering the company give it a buy rating, and an average price target of $321.97 — or 40% upside — according to FactSet data. It comes as some on Wall Street turn bullish on certain corners of the tech sector , despite the Nasdaq closing at its lowest level in two years on Monday. ‘Fortress’ balance sheets Griffin’s current investing strategy includes the owning large-cap stocks with “fortress balance sheets.” “Longer term, we know that these companies are positioned to benefit from some of the most significant structural changes occurring in the world and hence remain confident that these companies can grow earnings through the current uncertainties,” he said. He named Alphabet as one example of a “fairly safe” investment with an “incredibly strong” balance sheet, adding that markets had underestimated its fast-growing cloud business. Munro Partners has, however, reduced overall exposure to equities in the third quarter, from an average of 60% to 40%. “Thanks to gains on short selling, hedging and currencies the Fund was up roughly 3% for the quarter and up 1.5% for September,” Griffin added.

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