Are Investors Dumping Apple Inc. (AAPL) for Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA)?

Are investors switching from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA)? Our data shows that this is a possibility and in this way, Alibaba has a chance to climb several positions and be one of the top most popular stocks among over 700 hedge funds that we track. The latest round of 13F filings showed that Apple is still the leader with 153 funds disclosing long positions in the company, versus 152 funds holding stakes at the end of June. On the other hand, Alibaba, which went public at the end of the third quarter, was included in the equity portfolios of 109 funds. Moreover, while the aggregate value of the stakes held by the funds in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) amounts to $7.68 billion, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has registered one of the highest declines in the aggregate value. During the third quarter, investors dropped around $2.71 billion worth of Apple’s stock, down to $22.51 billion.

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Another interesting fact is discovered when we examine 13F filings in more detail. A common pattern is that many funds that initiated positions in Alibaba after the company went public, have reduced or even sold out their holdings in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). One of the institutional investors with a significant position in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) is Andreas Halvorsen‘s Viking Global, which is also the largest shareholder among the funds that we track. The Tiger Cub purchased 11.39 million shares of Alibaba at the end of September, and now owns a $1.01 billion position, which amasses over 4% of its equity portfolio and ranks as the 6th-largest in terms of value. In addition, it is important to mention that also during the third quarter, Viking Global liquidated its stake in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), selling 2.29 million shares. This move is also interesting because, Viking initiated the stake during the second quarter.

Dan Loeb‘s Third Point is another significant investor in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA), which owns 7.20 million shares, valued at $639.72 million, which is the fourth-largest in terms of value. Third Point however has not held shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) over the last two quarters, since it sold its stake during the first quarter, also after it initiated the stake in the previous quarter.

In addition, other two funds that disclosed shares of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) held as of the end of September, have trimmed their positions in Apple: Soros Fund Management and D.E. Shaw. George Soros‘ Soros Fund Management owns 4.40 million shares of Alibaba, according to its latest 13F, but it cut its position in Apple by 37% to 1.14 million shares. David E. Shaw‘s D.E. Shaw sold around 233,500 shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) during the July-September period, reducing stake to 11.66 million shares, which still ranks as the largest long position in terms of value, while in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) it disclosed a $360.08 million position, which contains 4.05 million shares.

Disclosure: none