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Apple Inc. (AAPL), Moody’s Corporation (MCO), and McGraw Hill Financial Inc (MHFI): Billionaire Julian Robertson Traded iPhones for Tax Returns During Q1

The legendary Julian Robertson- who not only became a billionaire himself through his success at Tiger Management, but also groomed several “Tiger Cubs” who have gone on to become successful hedge fund managers themselves- has filed his 13F for the first quarter of 2013. These filings disclose many of an investor’s long positions in U.S. stocks as of the end of the quarter. We track these filings as part of our work developing investment strategies (we have found, for example, that the most popular small cap stocks among hedge funds outperform the S&P 500 by 18 percentage points per year on average) but also like to see what big names such as Robertson did over the previous quarter. We have compared his most recent 13F to the one from the end of December (see Robertson’s previous filings) and here are three trends which investors might find interesting:

Dumping Apple. Robertson had cut his stake in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) by 58% during Q4 2012, but it had still been one of his five largest holdings by market value at the beginning of this year. Between January and March, however, he kept selling and owned no shares by the end of March. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) had lost its place as the most popular stock among hedge funds to AIG in the fourth quarter (check out more of hedge funds’ favorite stocks). Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s stock price has done poorly recently, and it currently trades at 10 times earnings whether we consider trailing results or forward projections from analysts (and that doesn’t account for the fact that a sizable portion of the company’s value is composed of cash). Shrinking margins have caused earnings to decline even as revenue rises, and the current valuation implies that markets are expecting net income to go even lower. Peer Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is now Robertson’s largest position by market value as he increased his stake somewhat and the stock saw a large gain in price during the quarter.

TIGER MANAGEMENTBusinesses’ financial data. Two of the largest buys in Robertson’s portfolio were Moody’s Corporation (NYSE:MCO) and McGraw Hill Financial Inc (NYSE:MHFI), which has since changed its name to McGraw Hill Financial Inc (NYSE:MHFI) to reflect the sale of the company’s education unit to private equity. McGraw Hill Financial Inc (NYSE:MHFI) owns Standard & Poor’s and Capital IQ and following the sale is now primarily a provider of financial and business information. The same is true of Moody’s Corporation (NYSE:MCO), making this an interesting investment theme for the billionaire. Moody’s Corporation (NYSE:MCO) reported a 13% increase in revenue and a 9% rise in net income in the first quarter of 2013 versus a year earlier, but at a trailing price-to-earnings multiple of 22 it might be a bit expensive for us.