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I guess it's not a huge surprise that
Apple(AAPL - Get Report) tops hedge funds' hate list --
everybody hates this stock right now. Shares of the $439 billion tech behemoth have fallen by around 25% in the last six months, dropping like a rock while the rest of the
S&P 500 actually climbed 8%.
The selling was enough to scare hedge funds away from shares; funds unloaded 1.27 million shares of Apple last quarter, dropping their combined stake in the stock by $1.5 billion.
Apple has been getting a lot of attention -- and rightfully so. As the biggest publicly traded company in the world, Apple's fall is a big deal. But I've said before that this is a case of a stock price that's diverged considerably from this company's value. If Apple were a tenth of its size, it wouldn't be under the same pressures. Now, though, its $439 billion market cap and $467 per share price tag look scary for investors; the bigger they are, the harder they fall, right?
Not quite. Apple's growing market share, impressive diversification, and gargantuan cash cushion impart a fundamental floor on share prices. Management has shown a willingness to at least talk about returning more of Apple's $137 billion in cash to investors, and that's an excellent step in the right direction. In the mean time, investors shouldn't ignore the fact that Apple created more than $41 billion in free cash flows last year. Hedge fund managers are selling this stock on a kneejerk reaction to price -- and they're leaving money on the table.
All of that said, I'd recommend waiting for the technicals to change before jumping into Apple. This stock is still in a downtrend, and as long as more investors keep selling at a kneejerk, you can jump in at a better price.
I also featuredc Apple recently in "
Apple Doesn't Suck -- but Its Stock Does."