Apple Attracts More Hedge Fund Investors

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.

Chase Coleman, Tiger Global -- The New York-based fund added to its holding in Apple, buying 198,000 shares. Tiger Global held about 1.7 million shares of Apple as of Sept. 30. Apple is the second-largest disclosed holding for Coleman's hedge fund.

Phillipe Laffont, Coatue Management -- Laffont's hedge fund, based in New York, picked up 19,000 shares of Apple, becoming the fifth-biggest hedge fund holder of Apple, with 1.3 million shares. Apple is the largest disclosed holding for Coatue Management.

Andreas Halvorsen, Viking Global -- Halvorsen's New York-based fund was the biggest buyer of Apple in the third quarter, initiating a brand-new position in the iPhone and iPad maker after picking up 1.1 million shares. Viking Global is now the 10th-largest hedge fund owner of Apple stock.

Eric Mindich, Eton Park Capital -- After initiating a new stake in Apple in the second quarter, the long/short hedge bought another 100,000 shares to bring its total position to 600,000 shares.

Leon Cooperman, Omega Advisors -- Cooperman, the legendary hedge fund manager, bought about 90,000 shares of Apple. Omega Advisors now owns 206,000 shares of the company.

George Soros, Soros Fund Management -- The billionaire fund manager, who will close his fund to outside investors this year, picked up 12,000 shares of Apple, giving him about 83,000 as of Sept. 30.

Lee Ainslie, Maverick Capital -- The Dallas-based fund slashed its holding in Apple, selling 769,000 shares. Maverick Capital held only 475,000 shares of Apple as of Sept. 30.

Jeffrey Vinik, Vinik Asset Management -- The Boston-based hedge fund manager, known for his secrecy, cut his position in Apple by 540,000 shares, leaving his fund with about 310,000 shares.

Larry Robbins, Glenview Capital -- The New York-based hedge fund manager, who used to work for Leon Cooperman at Omega Advisors, completely sold out of his 482,000-share stake in Apple one quarter after buying those shares.

Steven Cohen, SAC Capital Advisors -- Based in Stamford, Conn., Cohen's active fund sold almost 337,000 shares of Apple. SAC Capital owned more than 261,000 shares of the tech giant as of Sept. 30.

James Simons, Renaissance Technologies -- The New York-based fund, which employs a quantitative strategy, sold about 282,000 shares of Apple in the third quarter. The quant fund owned 1 million shares as of Sept. 30.

Phillip Gross, Adage Capital -- The Boston-based hedge fund is the seventh-largest hedge fund owner of Apple, with more than 1.2 million shares, but Gross sold about 179,000 shares of the gadget maker during the third quarter.

David Tepper, Appaloosa Management -- The headlines around Tepper's third-quarter moves center around his dumping of bank stocks, but Tepper also quietly sold more than 161,000 shares of Apple. Appaloosa owned only 38,000 shares of Apple as of Sept. 30.

Ray Dalio, Bridgewater Associates -- The world's largest hedge fund, based in Westport, Conn., was a seller of Apple in the third quarter. Dalio's fund completely sold out of its position of 31,000 Apple shares.

Barry Rosenstein, Jana Partners -- The activist investor cut his position in Apple by 39,000 shares in the third quarter, leaving his hedge fund with 235,000 shares as of Sept. 30.

-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston.

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