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Apple Attracts More Hedge Fund Investors

Stocks in this article: AAPL

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Apple (AAPL), hedge funds' favorite stock pick, has gained more admirers, including David Einhorn and Steve Mandel.

Apple ritually tops the list of "must-have" stocks for hedge fund managers, measured by Goldman Sachs' so-called VIP list. But during a tumultuous third quarter for the gadget maker, hedge funds were split into believers and non-believers. During the third quarter, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs stepped down as the company's CEO, handing over the reins to Tim Cook. Days after the quarter ended, Jobs died.

Despite the management change, Apple shares jumped during the third quarter, rising more than 13% and outpacing the 13% drop in the S&P 500. While some hedge fund managers were likely enticed by Apple's valuation -- the stock trades at a forward price-to-earnings ratio of less than 10 before the company's enormous cash position is backed out -- others seemed happy to book a profit on their Apple trade after the stock passed through the $400 price level during the quarter. Those professional investors include Steve Cohen and David Tepper.

Here are the prominent hedge fund managers who were buying and selling Apple during the third quarter:

David Shaw, D.E. Shaw & Co. -- The New York-based investor is the largest hedge fund holder of Apple after adding 481,000 shares to his position during the third quarter. The fund's total position stood at 2.4 million shares as of Sept. 30.

David Einhorn, Greenlight Capital -- Einhorn's Greenlight Capital added to its established position in Apple by purchasing 236,000 shares in the third quarter, bringing its holding to 1.3 million shares.

Robert Citrone, Discovery Capital -- The hedge fund manager, based in South Norwalk, Conn., counts Apple as its largest disclosed holding and is the second-biggest hedge fund owner of Apple shares. The fund bought 90,000 shares in the third quarter, increasing its total position to nearly 2.2 million shares.

Steven Mandel, Lone Pine Capital -- A former student of legendary hedge fund manager Julian Robertson, Mandel bought 82,000 shares of Apple, taking his entire stake to a little over 2 million shares.

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