Investments

Icahn Slashed Apple Stake In Q4 — Among Others

Lest you think it’s only the small investor who flees at the drop of a hat, or stock, consider that some of the biggest names in the hedge fund world have cored their holdings in Apple as if they’d discovered worms in the once-highflying tech giant.

Reuters reported Tuesday (Feb. 16) that the marquee names cutting stakes included Carl Icahn, the billionaire activist investor, and David Einhorn’s vehicle, Greenlight Capital, both of whom sold during the fourth quarter of last year, with the stock price already falling.

Those investors’ actions were brought to light by filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. At the end of the year, the SEC said, Icahn had more than 45 million shares, down 13 percent from the end of the September quarter. Greenlight held 6 million shares at the end of the year, a relatively significant drop of 44 percent over the same period.

They were not alone, as additional 13F filings — as they are denoted by the SEC — showed that Blue Ridge Capital sold 11 percent of its holdings in that same time frame, with another firm, Adage Capital, off 5 percent.

But not everyone was a seller. Tiger Global Management started a new position in the name, owning 10.6 million shares as of that same filing date. Clearly, at least someone thinks the 13-year streak of uninterrupted top line growth will surface again for Apple.

Icahn, for his part, had been a vocal proponent of the stock and of the company, stating in the past that the tech outfit’s shares represented a “no-brainer” that investors would do well to buy. Financial media reports noted that Icahn had actually started buying Apple at $68, indicating a fair amount of profit still in the offing.

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