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Apple Has Hedge Fund Managers Scrambling to Buy

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Apple (AAPL - Get Report), which recently hit $500 a share for the first time, is growing in popularity with hedge fund managers, reflecting the consumer tech giant's upward trajectory.

Star hedge fund managers such as David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital and Steven Cohen of SAC Capital Advisors increased their stakes in Apple, according to 13F filings for the period ending Dec.31, 2011. The iPhone maker, which recently reported stellar first-quarter results, is expected to continue its product momentum in 2012.

Here's a roundup of high profile hedge funds who added to--or decreased--their stakes in Apple at the end of 2011.

Ken Griffin, Citadel Advisors -- Citadel is the largest hedge fund holder of Apple shares. The Chicago-based firm added 361,609 shares during the fourth quarter to finish the year with 2.8 million shares.

David Shaw, D.E. Shaw & Co. -- The New York-based hedge fund added only 5,760 shares to end 2011 with 2.4 million shares.

Robert Citrone, Discovery Capital -- The fund bought 38,250 shares to increase its position to 2.2 million. Discovery Capital is the third largest hedge fund holder of Apple shares.

Steven Mandel, Lone Pine Capital -- Mandel's fund bought 91,100 shares to bring its position to 2.1 million.

Chase Coleman, Tiger Global -- New York-based Tiger Global reduced its stake in Apple, shedding 74,700 shares. It finished the year with 1.6 million shares.

David Einhorn, Greenlight Capital -- Einhorn's fund added 150,000 shares to bring its total to 1.5 million.

Andreas Halvorsen, Viking Global -- Viking picked up 161,700 shares during the fourth quarter of 2011. It now owns 1.3 million shares.

Phillipe Laffont, Coatue Management -- The hedge fund decreased its position in Apple in 2011, selling 54,333 shares to finish the year with 1.3 million shares.

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