Apple's share price plummeted in the fourth quarter of 2012 because four of the biggest hedge funds dumped billions of dollars of Apple stock.
Omega Advisors, Eton Park Capital Management (Goldman Sachs?), Jana Partners and Farallon Capital unloaded 796,000 Apple shares between September 30 and December 31, according to quarterly disclosure documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Thursday.
Leon Cooperman of Omega Advisors dumped its entire stake of more than 266,000 AAPL shares during the fourth quarter.
Eric Mindich of Eton Park Capital Management ditched 250,000 Apple shares, having also made big sales in the third quarter. He owned 600,000 Apple shares at the beginning of 2012, according to the Reuters report.
Thomas Steyer of Farallon Capital sold 137,000 shares. Jana Partners, a fund run by Barry Rosenstein, ditched its entire Apple stake of more than 143,000 shares.
Another three hedge funs, Philippe Laffont of Coatue Management, Tiger Global Management and Tiger Management LLC, also ditched Apple shares, although in smaller quantities. These firms sold off around 390,000 shares, while retaining more than 1,685,000, which Apple Insider points out is: "More than twice as many shares as those liquidated by the four firms that abandoned their entire positions."
During the fourth quarter, one hedge fund was loading up on Apple shares. Greenlight Capital increased its stake in AAPL from 1.1 million shares to 1.3 million shares. Greenlight is currently attempting to sue Apple to stop it from allowing shareholders to vote on a measure that it believes will stop the company from being able to offer more to shareholders.
Bespoke Investment Group co-founder Justin Walters told Reuters: "Three months from now, we'll be seeing a lot of the people who sold starting to pick it up again."
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.