* Contrafund owned $6.15 bln of Apple at end of December
* Fidelity's Danoff still likes Apple's cash generation
* Apple off 35 pct since hitting $705 a share
By Tim McLaughlin
BOSTON, Jan 30Portfolio manager Will Danoff,
whose $85 billion Fidelity Contrafund is the largest active
shareholder in Apple Inc, trimmed his holdings in the
maker of the iPhone by 3.1 percent in December.
Apple remains the top holding in Contrafund, one
of the best performing stock mutual funds over the past 20
years, according to the latest disclosures by Boston-based
Fidelity On Wednesday.
The fact that the trimming was modest as well as Danoff's
recent comments about Apple indicated he still likes the stock,
which has been beaten down in recent months.
Contrafund reported holding $6.15 billion worth of Apple
stock at the end of December. That translates into 11.56 million
shares, compared with the 11.92 million shares reported at the
end of November.
Apple accounted for 7.3 percent of Danoff's holdings, down
from 8.2 percent at the end of November. Contrafund is Apple's
second largest shareholder after the Vanguard Total Stock Market
With more competition from rival smartphone makers such as
Samsung Electronic Co Ltd, Apple shares are off 35
percent since hitting an all-time high of $705.07 in late
Still, in a Fidelity Viewpoints interview posted Jan. 16,
Danoff extolled the virtues of Apple's cash-generating power.
"Apple has been generating a billion dollars of free cash
flow per week," Danoff said. "In the last two years, the company
has added $100 billion of revenue without needing any additional
But Danoff also acknowledged the stock slide and stiffer
"The stock has been disappointing in the last quarter or
two," he said in the Fidelity Viewpoints interview. "Competition
has definitely intensified in the smartphone and tablet
Contrafund posted a 6.51 percent return in the fourth
quarter, barely beating the 6.35 percent advance in the
benchmark S&P 500 index.
Danoff got help from other technology holdings and an
overweight position in gold mining companies, betting that
unprecedented levels of global debt will support prices in the
Over the past 15 years, Danoff's Contrafund has beaten 94
percent of its peers while outperforming the S&P 500 by 3.3
percentage points per year, according to Morningstar Inc.