By Tim McLaughlin
BOSTON, April 1 Portfolio manager Will Danoff,
whose $92 billion Fidelity Contrafund is the largest active
shareholder in Apple Inc, cut the fund's stake in the
iPhone maker 10 percent during the first two months of 2013.
Danoff began trimming his Apple stake late last year, but
the latest monthly update from Boston-based Fidelity shows
deeper cuts in the early part of 2013.
Apple shares were down 1.8 percent at $435.35 in Monday
morning trading on Nasdaq. The stock is off 38 percent since
hitting an all-time high of $705.07 in late September. Rival
smartphone makers such as Samsung Electronics Co Ltd
have gained broader acceptance from consumers, making life more
difficult for Apple.
Apple dropped to the No. 2 holding in Contrafund
behind Google Inc. Danoff, considered to be one of the
best stock pickers among mutual fund managers, has outperformed
the S&P 500 by 3.3 percentage points per year over the past 15
years while running Contrafund.
In 2012, Apple was by far the fund's top individual
contributor, Danoff said in a recent shareholder update.
Although he has cut his position in the company amid a steep
price decline, Danoff said he still views Apple as an
inexpensive blue-chip stock.
The Contrafund reported holding 10.43 million shares of
Apple worth $4.6 billion at the end of February, according to
Fidelity's latest monthly update for the fund. The fund owned
11.56 million Apple shares at the end of December.
Google accounted for 5.8 percent of the fund's net assets.
Apple made up 5.2 percent, according to Fidelity's disclosure.
In November, Apple accounted for 8.2 percent of Danoff's
holdings. Contrafund is Apple's second-largest overall
shareholder after the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund
Contrafund is up 9.18 percent this year, beating 64 percent
of the funds in the large-cap growth category. But the fund is
trailing the 10.6 percent return on the S&P 500 index.