Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): Hedge Funds Are Crazy About It

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is still the most popular stocks among hedge funds. According to a recent report by hedge fund tracking site Insider Monkey, more than one out of 5 hedge funds are invested in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).

At the moment there are many metrics stock traders use to value publicly traded companies. Some of the most under-the-radar metrics are hedge fund and insider trading sentiment. Hedge fund experts at Insider Monkey have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the best investment managers can outperform the market by a significant amount (see just how much).

With all of this in mind, let’s analyze the recent action encompassing Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).

Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL)

How are hedge funds trading Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)?

Heading into Q4, a total of 153 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long in this stock, a change of 1% from one quarter earlier. With hedge funds’ capital changing hands, there exists a few key hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings meaningfully.

According to hedge fund intelligence website Insider Monkey, Carl Icahn’s Icahn Capital had the number one position in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), worth close to $5.3157 billion, amounting to 15.8% of its total 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by D E Shaw, led by D. E. Shaw, holding a $1.1743 billion position; 1.5% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Some other members of the smart money that are bullish contain Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management, Philippe Laffont’s Coatue Management and David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital.

As industrywide interest jumped, key money managers were breaking ground themselves. Balyasny Asset Management, managed by Dmitry Balyasny, established the most outsized call position in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). Balyasny Asset Management had 565.2 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Mike Masters’s Masters Capital Management also initiated a $201.5 million position during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new AAPL investors: Benjamin A. Smith’s Laurion Capital Management, Michael Novogratz’s Fortress Investment Group, and Dmitry Balyasny’s Balyasny Asset Management.

One concerning signal we observed was that even though the number of hedge funds invested in Apple increased during the quarter, the total value of their positions actually went down significantly. Hedge funds collectively held only $22 billion in bullish Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) positions, vs. $25 billion at the end of the second quarter.

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