Dozens of Hedge Funds Sell Apple Shares

BOSTON (TheStreet) -- More than 100 hedge fund managers sold some or all of their Apple (AAPL) shares after the maker of the iPad and iPhone surged 30% to a record in the last half of 2010.

A total of 22 hedge fund managers with less than a 5% stake in Apple sold out of their positions during the fourth quarter, dumping more than 1.6 million shares, in total, according to the latest 13F filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission of the largest U.S.-based hedge fund firms. Another 81 hedge funds decreased their holdings in the tech giant by a combined 7.5 million shares.

Thirty fund managers took new positions in Apple, buying a total of 1 million shares. Another 63 hedge fund managers, including Steve Cohen of SAC Capital Advisors, added to established positions, acquiring a combined 5.1 million shares of Apple. The Cupertino, Calif.-based maker of computers and gadgets has 921 million shares outstanding.

In place of Apple, fund managers picked up stocks including Citigroup ( C), General Electric ( GE) -- even Sirius XM ( SIRI). Many also sold companies including Las Vegas Sands ( LVS) and Microsoft ( MSFT) alongside Apple.

Investors were jolted yesterday on news The National Enquirer will soon publish photos of Steve Jobs visiting the Stanford Cancer Center in California. This report comes after Jobs announced in January that he would take an unspecified medical leave of absence, which sparked speculation that Apple's leader is still battling cancer.

Jobs was treated for pancreatic cancer in 2004, and received a liver transplant in 2009. But despite the headlines over the Enquirer's alleged photos, Jobs was reportedly slated to meet with President Obama during a private meeting in San Francisco yesterday, along with other tech heavy hitters like Google's ( GOOG) Eric Schmidt and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg.

Hedge fund managers who have stuck with Apple have been winners this year, as the shares have climbed more than 10%, despite hiccups stemming from concerns over Jobs' health. The stock has benefitted from the iPhone's migration to Verizon's ( VZ) wireless network after three years of exclusivity on AT&T ( T), as well as building speculation over the iPad 2 and iPhone 5.

Investors in Apple should monitor what institutional investors are doing, even if those hedge fund managers are selling shares. The following pages detail five hedge funds that sold completely out of positions in Apple during the fourth quarter, ranked by share count, as well as five hedge funds that made the deepest cuts to established positions in Apple.

Hedge Fund: Avesta Capital Advisors is based in New York. The value of its reported holdings slipped to $711 million in the fourth quarter from $1 billion in the previous quarter.

Shares of Apple Sold in Quarter: 150,000

Position Remaining in Apple: None (as of Dec. 31)

Top Buys in Quarter: Avesta Capital Advisors made several big purchases during the fourth quarter based on share count. The fund nabbed more than 1 million shares each of Interpublic Group ( IPG) and Ford ( F). Avesta also made significant share purchases of Walgreen ( WAG), Hertz Global ( HTZ) and Citigroup ( C), buying more than 650,000 shares of each company.

Top Sales in Quarter: The purging of 150,000 shares of Apple didn't even crack the top 20 list of share sales by Avesta during the fourth quarter. The fund dumped more than 1 million shares each of Las Vegas Sands ( LVS), JDS Uniphase ( JDSU), Boise ( BZ) and MGM Resorts ( MGM).


Hedge Fund: Glenhill Capital Management is based in New York, with Glenn Krevlin as the managing member. In the fourth quarter, the value of the fund's reported holdings slipped to $723 million from $756 million in the previous quarter.

Shares of Apple Sold in Quarter: 153,576

Position Remaining in Apple: None (as of Dec. 31)

Top Buys in Quarter: Glenhill Capital bought more than 1 million shares each of Mueller Water Products ( MWA), Lowe's ( LOW), Sealed Air ( SEE) and Lionbridge Technologies ( LIOX).

Top Sales in Quarter: In addition to Apple, Glenhill made some other significant share sales. The fund dropped 2.5 million shares of ArvinMeritor ( ARM), 1.8 million shares of Collective Brands ( PSS), and more than 890,000 shares of Ingersoll-Rand ( IR).

>>View Glenhill Capital's Portfolio

Hedge Fund: Eminence Capital is based in New York. The fund's reported holdings had a value of $4.2 billion at the end of the fourth quarter, down sharply from $5.7 billion as of Sept. 30.

Shares of Apple Sold in Quarter: 254,750

Position Remaining in Apple: None (as of Dec. 31)

Top Buys in Quarter: Eminence Capital made its biggest bet on Liberty Interactive ( LINTA) during the fourth quarter, buying more than 4.1 million shares. The fund also picked up 2.5 million shares of Coca-Cola Enterprises ( CCE), 2 million shares of Citigroup ( C) and 1.5 million shares of Cisco Systems ( CSCO).

Top Sales in Quarter: Although the fund sold completely out of its position in Apple, Eminence made far bigger share sales. The hedge fund sold 4.7 million shares each of Lowe's ( LOW) and Oracle ( ORCL), while also dumping roughly 3 million shares each of U.S. Bancorp ( USB) and Mattel ( MAT).


Hedge Fund: York Capital Management, like many hedge funds, is based in New York. The value of the reported holdings was nearly $5 billion at the end of the fourth quarter.

Shares of Apple Sold in Quarter: 317,744

Position Remaining in Apple: None (as of Dec. 31)

Top Buys in Quarter: York Capital made huge share purchases of Citigroup ( C) and General Electric ( GE) during the fourth quarter, buying 32 million and 9.3 million shares, respectively. The fund also bought 6.1 million shares of restructured LyondellBasell Industries ( LYB) and 5.7 million shares of Chemtura ( CHMT).

Top Sales in Quarter: One of York Capital's biggest share sale was penny stock RadView Sofware ( RDVW), which currently trades for less than 3 cents a share. The fund dropped nearly 12.5 million shares of the stock during the fourth quarter. Other big sales included Potash of Saskatchewan ( POT) and General Growth Properties ( GGP).

Hedge Fund: Tudor Investment is based in Greenwich, Conn. The fund's reported holdings carried a value of $1 billion as of Dec. 31, up from $840 million at the end of the third quarter.

Shares of Apple Sold in Quarter: 364,800

Position Remaining in Apple: None (as of Dec. 31)

Top Buys in Quarter: Tudor Investment made several buys in the fourth quarter, including nearly 4 million shares of Citigroup ( C), 2.3 million shares of Gain Capital ( GAIN) and 1 million shares of Huntington Bancshares ( HBAN).

Top Sales in Quarter: Tudor appears to have soured not only on Apple but also on emerging markets. The fund dropped more than 5.5 million shares of the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index Fund ( EEM). Tudor also sold more than 1 million shares each of Cninsure ( CiSG) and Uni-Pixel ( UNXL).


Hedge Fund: Renaissance Technologies is a New York-based fund with 2,753 reported holdings that carried a value of more than $24 billion as of Dec. 31.

Shares of Apple Sold in Quarter: 602,700

Position Remaining in Apple: 1.3 million shares with a market value of $438 million (as of Dec. 31)

Top Buys in Quarter: Renaissance Technologies wasn't shy about making purchases in the fourth quarter, adding more than 2 million shares of 26 companies. The largest purchase was 10.7 million shares of Level 3 Communications ( LVLT), followed by 5.1 million shares of Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ) and 4.7 million shares of Dell ( DELL).

Top Sales in Quarter: Microsoft ( MSFT) was the fund's largest share sale in the fourth quarter, as it dumped more than 20.8 million shares of the tech giant. Renaissance also sold 12.7 million shares of Qwest Communications ( Q), 8.7 million shares of Alcoa ( AA) and 8.3 million shares of Oracle ( ORCL).

>>View Renaissance Technologies' Portfolio

Hedge Fund: Shumway Capital Partners is a Greenwich, Conn.-based fund started by Chris Shumway in 2002. Shumway said early this month he would return all of its external capital to investors by the end of the first quarter, after the fund was hit hard with redemptions after he announced in November he would step down as chief investment officer.

Shares of Apple Sold in Quarter: 678,979

Position Remaining in Apple: 1.1 million shares worth $368 million (as of Dec. 31)

Top Buys in Quarter: Shumway bought huge chunks of Sirius XM ( SIRI) and Citigroup ( C), adding 69 million and 40 million shares, respectively. The fund also added 18 million shares of MGM Resorts ( MGM).

Top Sales in Quarter: The fund dumped nearly 10 million shares of Las Vegas Sands ( LVS), 4.6 million shares of Live Nation ( LYV) and 2.7 million shares of CVS Caremark ( CVS).

>>View Shumway Capital's Portfolio


Hedge Fund: D.E. Shaw Investment Management is a New York-based fund with 3,706 reported holdings as of Dec. 31. Those holdings were worth nearly $39 billion at the end of the fourth quarter.

Shares of Apple Sold in Quarter: 683,791

Position Remaining in Apple: 1.7 million shares with a value of $553 million (as of Dec. 31)

Top Buys in Quarter: The hedge fund's biggest share purchases trade on overseas markets, including Emperor Watch & Jewellery and CP Pokphand. The largest U.S. stock purchase was General Electric ( GE), at 18 million shares. The fund also nabbed 8.5 million shares of AMD ( AMD) and 7 million shares of Rite Aid ( RAD).

Top Sales in Quarter: While several funds bought Citigroup ( C) in the fourth quarter, D.E. Shaw did the opposite, selling more than 39 million shares of the bank. Other large share sales included Ford ( F), JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) and Wendy's/Arby's ( WEN).

>>View D.E. Shaw's Portfolio

Hedge Fund: Duquesne Capital Management, based in Pittsburgh, has 109 reported holdings with a value of nearly $2.2 billion as of Dec. 31. At the end of the third quarter, the fund had 162 reported holdings worth $4.3 billion.

Shares of Apple Sold in Quarter: 689,200

Position Remaining in Apple: 42,640 shares worth only $13.8 million (as of Dec. 31)

Top Buys in Quarter: Elan ( ELN) was Duquesne Capital's largest purchase in the fourth quarter, based on share count. The fund added more than 11 million shares of the biotech company in the quarter. Duquesne also bought 3.4 million shares of Halliburton ( HAL) and 2.2 million shares of Swift Energy ( SFY).

Top Sales in Quarter: While the sale of Apple by Duquesne was significant, the fund made other sales of far greater magnitude on a share-count basis. The hedge fund dumped more than 5.6 million shares of Altria ( MO), as well as more than 4 million shares each of Freeport-McMoRan ( FCX), King Pharmaceuticals ( KG), AT&T ( T) and Verizon ( VZ).


Hedge Fund: Lone Pine Capital is based in Greenwich, Conn., and has 52 reported holdings worth $12 billion as of Dec. 31.

Shares of Apple Sold in Quarter: 992,480

Position Remaining in Apple: 1.7 million shares worth $553 million (as of Dec. 31)

Top Buys in Quarter: Lone Pine's largest acquisition on a share-count basis was Global Logistic Properties, which trades overseas. Among U.S. stocks, the fund bought a whopping 145 million shares of Citigroup ( C), 7 million shares of Schlumberger ( SLB), 5.1 million shares of Cablevision ( CVC) and 5 million shares of Dollar General ( DG).

Top Sales in Quarter: Lone Pine sold nearly 24 million shares of Popular ( BPOP) during the fourth quarter, making it the fund's largest sale by share count. Other big sales included 9.5 million shares of Invesco ( IVZ), 7 million shares of Activision Blizzard ( ATVI) and 5.2 million shares of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters ( GMCR).

-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston.

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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