Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)
– Number of Hedge Funds Long The Stock As Of March 31: 155
– Number of Hedge Funds Long The Stock As Of June 30: 135
– Value of Hedge Funds’ Combined Holdings As Of June 30: $11.55 billion
Although it might come across as a surprise, hedge funds fled Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) between April and June. After a 12.9% reduction in the number of funds long the stock, the company counted 135 investors hoolding class A shares, including Harris Associates, which declared holding 631,571 Class A shares and 2.18 million Class C shares as of the end of June. On the other hand, two of the most bearish firms were Ken Griffin’s Citadel Advisors and Steve Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management, which sold their stakes. Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) had a volatile first half of 2016, ultimately losing more than 9.5%. Over the third quarter, however, shares advanced by 16.25%, taking year-to-date returns to 4%. Last week, analysts at Wedbush downgraded the stock to ‘Underperform’ from ‘Neutral’ and cut their price target to $700 from $800, citing a probably prompt arising of four major issues: “self-identified consumers, consumer control of IP-delivered ads, payments innovation, and attention markets.”
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)
– Number of Hedge Funds Long The Stock As Of March 31: 164
– Number of Hedge Funds Long The Stock As Of June 30: 148
– Value of Hedge Funds’ Combined Holdings As Of June 30: $15.24 billion
Another surprising inclusion in this list is Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), in which the number of bullish investors from our database slid by 16 during the second quarter. Notable departures included Appaloosa LP, which disposed of 1.62 million shares over the quarter, and George Soros’ Soros Fund Management, which unloaded its stake of 442,696 shares.Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has had a great year, with its stock up by 24% year-to-date. And, while Soros, Appaloosa, and other funds that left reaped returns of almost 9.2% in the first half of 2016, they missed out on the 13.2% surge seen in the third quarter. The stock came under pressure recently after the company disclosed that it had unintentionally overestimated the average time users watched videos on its platforms for approximately two years. Although the inflated data did not impact billing, advertisers are not happy with the 60% to 80% overestimation.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)
– Number of Hedge Funds Long The Stock As Of March 31: 152
– Number of Hedge Funds Long The Stock As Of June 30: 116
– Value of Hedge Funds’ Combined Holdings As Of June 30: $10.67 billion
Finally, there’s Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), which saw the number of funds in our database long its stock drop by more than 23%. Deserters included Alex Snow’s Lansdowne Partners, which unloaded all of its 4.34 million shares over the second quarter, and John Griffin’s Blue Ridge Capital, which sold 1.94 million shares between April and June.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s stock lost 9% over the first six months of 2016, but during the third quarter it rebounded by 21%. The tech behemoth has been in the news every day recently. Last week, the stock was in the spotlight after Digitimes reported that the company has boosted parts orders for iPhone 7 devices, adding that order visibility for the fourth quarter is 20% to 30% higher than they had anticipated.
Disclosure: Javier Hasse holds no interest in any of the securities or entities mentioned above.