Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was in 148 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of March. AAPL investors should be aware of a decrease in support from the world’s most elite money managers in recent months. There were 148 hedge funds in our database with AAPL holdings at the end of the previous quarter (stagnant interest is a slightly bearish indicator in our experience).
In the financial world, there are many methods shareholders can use to analyze Mr. Market. Two of the most underrated are hedge fund and insider trading movement. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the elite money managers can outclass the market by a solid amount (see just how much).
Equally as integral, optimistic insider trading sentiment is a second way to parse down the marketplace. Obviously, there are many stimuli for a corporate insider to sell shares of his or her company, but just one, very obvious reason why they would behave bullishly. Many academic studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this method if you know where to look (learn more here).
With these “truths” under our belt, we’re going to take a gander at the key action regarding Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).
What does the smart money think about Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)?
In preparation for the second quarter, a total of 148 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 0% from the fourth quarter. With the smart money’s positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists an “upper tier” of notable hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes significantly.
When looking at the hedgies we track, Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group had the most valuable call position in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), worth close to $2.7662 billion, comprising 4.2% of its total 13F portfolio. On Citadel Investment Group’s heels is David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital, with a $1.0614 billion position; the fund has 16.2% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other hedgies that hold long positions include D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw, Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management and Phill Gross and Robert Atchinson’s Adage Capital Management.
Since Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has faced declining sentiment from the aggregate hedge fund industry (stagnant interest is bearish), we can see that there were a few fund managers that elected to cut their positions entirely heading into 2013. It’s worth mentioning that Rob Citrone’s Discovery Capital Management sold off the largest position of the “upper crust” of funds we key on, totaling about $381.1 million in stock., and Rob Citrone of Discovery Capital Management was right behind this move, as the fund cut about $335.3 million worth. These bearish behaviors are interesting, as aggregate hedge fund interest stayed the same (this is a bearish signal in our experience).
How have insiders been trading Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)?
Insider purchases made by high-level executives is most useful when the company we’re looking at has experienced transactions within the past six months. Over the latest six-month time period, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has experienced zero unique insiders purchasing, and 3 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).
Let’s also take a look at hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). These stocks are Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ), Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL). This group of stocks are in the personal computers industry and their market caps are similar to AAPL’s market cap.