Funds News

UPDATE 1-Icahn, Einhorn's Greenlight slash Apple stakes amid Q4 share decline

(Recasts lead with Carl Icahn and Greenlight Capital; adds fund holdings, byline)

BOSTON, Feb 16 (Reuters) - 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 Sept. 30.

Bridgewater Associates reported holding 327,452 shares of Apple at year-end, a 19 percent increase during the fourth quarter. (Reporting by Ross Kerber in Boston; Editing by Matthew Lewis and Leslie Adler)