(Recasts lead with Carl Icahn and Greenlight Capital; adds fund
By Ross Kerber
BOSTON Feb 16 Several big hedge fund backers of
Apple Inc, including billionaire activist investor Carl
Icahn and David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital, trimmed their
stakes in the fourth quarter amid a decline in the value of the
iPhone maker's shares.
Filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
released on Tuesday showed Icahn holding 45.8
million Apple shares at Dec. 31, down 13 percent from Sept. 30,
and Greenlight with 6.3 million Apple shares at year-end, down
44 percent from Sept. 30.
Among other 13F filings, Adage Capital Partners reported
holding 8.1 million Apple shares at the end of last year, down 5
percent from Sept. 30. Blue Ridge Capital held 2 million Apple
shares at year-end, down 11 percent from Sept. 30.
Tiger Global Management, however, reported a new position in
Apple, with 10.6 million shares as of Dec. 31.
Apple shares declined 5 percent during the fourth quarter to
close at $105.26 on Dec. 31, and the stock has since fallen
another 11 percent to close $93.99 on Friday.
In January, Apple forecast its first quarterly revenue drop
in 13 years and reported the slowest-ever increase in iPhone
shipments as Chinese sales showed signs of weakness.
Selling by the hedge funds might have protected them against
some losses during the fourth quarter, although they might have
sold before Nov. 3, when Apple stock closed at $122.57, its
highest close of the period.
Also on Tuesday, a filing from Passport Capital showed it
held no Apple shares at Dec. 31, compared with the 100,642
million shares it reported holding at Sept. 30.
Earlier filings showed that Appaloosa Management held 1.264
million shares of Apple at Dec. 31, a 3 percent decline from
Bridgewater Associates reported holding 327,452 shares of
Apple at year-end, a 19 percent increase during the fourth
(Reporting by Ross Kerber in Boston; Editing by Matthew Lewis
and Leslie Adler)