Apple Inc. (AAPL) Still The Most Popular Stock Among Hedge Funds

Apple Inc (AAPL)Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) investors have had quite the ride in 2012. After gaining more than 70% on the year to rise above $705 a pop, shares of the tech giant took a hit in October, falling as low as the $525 range. Now, it’s no secret that the markets have been concerned over the company’s future in the face of quarterly misses and slowing earnings growth, but we’ve pointed out over and over again that there’s still an obvious value play here. In our opinion, all this stock needs is a little push, whether that’s in the form of a China Mobile deal or a Q1 fiscal beat.

For those who have been irked at the seemingly endless stream of negative sentiment circling Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), here’s a bit of positive news for you: Apple is still the most popular stock among hedge funds. According to money managers’ regulatory filings with the SEC last quarter, Apple was held by 146 of the hedge funds we track, which is significantly more interest than Google (132) and AIG (110), the next most popular stocks.

In terms of total capital invested, the hedge fund industry holds more than $23.7 billion worth of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock, a 6.7% increase from the previous quarter. Despite the bears’ cries, it appears that the smart money is actually buying more of this stock on the dip. A few big-name fund managers who thought it was a good time to cut their positions in Apple include James Dinan (here’s his holdings) and Stephen Mandel, but you can’t argue with the aggregate data.

As The Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch already mentioned in their feature about Insider Monkey’s billionaire hedge fund index, it is possible to beat the market by tracking the industry’s most successful managers, and we’re here to help. Our empirical research has shown that individual investors can beat the S&P by double-digit percentage points a year following our “secret” strategy, which is detailed in our quarterly newsletter. Check it out here, or continue reading about our research methodology. If one thing is clear, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) still has the confidence of hedge funds, which a fact that shouldn’t be taken lightly.