I love this time of the quarter.
On or before the 45th day of each quarter, investment funds with more than $100,000 must file their 13F, an SEC filing through which funds disclose their stock holdings as of the final day of the previous quarter.
May 15 marked Day 45 of the second quarter – the due date for first-quarter 13F filings. Because these filings are merely a snapshot and not a record of transactions, it is possible for funds to “window dress” their portfolios by temporarily entering or exiting positions at the end of the quarter. The data in these filings is also 45 days old by the time it is released to the public.
As such, it’s always important to take data gleaned from the 13Fs with a grain of salt.
Still, the information contained within these filings gives us our best opportunity to see how high-profile investors like Warren Buffett, Carl Icahn and David Einhorn view certain stocks and the market as a whole.
It should come as no surprise that the world’s largest company by market capitalization, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), topped the list yet again both in terms of the number of funds holding shares of the company and the total value of shares held by investment funds.
A total of 2,193 funds reported some level of ownership in Apple stock as of March 31, with stakes totaling $421 billion.
The change between Q4 2014’s 13F data and the Q1 2015 data reveals very mixed views of the world’s most valuable company.
Whale Wisdom’s Daniel Collins reveals that 121 funds created new positions in Apple stock during the first three months of the year, 862 funds added to their existing positions, 69 funds closed their positions and 1,064 funds reduced their positions.
The top 12 buyers of Apple shares purchased just under 80 million shares during the quarter. Meanwhile, the top 12 sellers of Apple shares sold just under 110 million shares.
High-profile investors seem to be very split on what Apple’s future looks like.
Carl Icahn wrote an open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook on Monday, in which he wrote that he believes Apple’s shares are worth $240 – nearly double Monday’s closing price of $130.19. Icahn, a famous activist investor, recognized Apple’s huge stock buyback program and dividend hike, but noted that the time is right for a “much larger buyback.”
Based on these figures, Icahn believes Apple is worth more than $1 trillion.
Icahn left his stake in Apple unchanged during the first quarter, but he still owns 52.7 million shares of Apple, representing more than 20% of his total portfolio. In fact, Apple is Icahn’s largest bet besides his stake in his own company, Icahn Enterprises (NYSE: IEP).
There are certainly others with a different opinion.
David Einhorn, billionaire founder of hedge fund Greenlight Capital, cut his stake in Apple by 1.2 million shares, bringing the position down by 14% to 7.4 million shares.
It’s worth noting that, despite selling a large number of shares, Greenlight still owns more than $1.1 billion worth of Apple stock, based on Monday’s closing price. Einhorn’s trade is certainly not panic selling, and looks more like profit taking on a position that has been hugely profitable.
On the other hand, Leon Cooperman’s Omega Advisors exited its position in Apple entirely, selling all 383,790 shares that it owned as of Dec. 31, 2014.
As the tug of war between Apple bulls, bears and profit takers rages on, fresh updates to the iPhone 6 and a new and improved Apple TV are rumored to be just around the corner.
This summer may be shaping up to be very exciting for Apple stock, and we’ll be sure to bring you the latest news and commentary here in Daily Profit and its sister publication, Income & Prosperity.
Apple’s most closely guarded secret
On April 27, Apple blew away expectations yet again by beating Wall Street’s earnings estimates. Without a doubt, Apple is soaring higher than ever. Yet few analysts realize is that a little-known company is destined to soar right along with it. It’s Apple’s most closely guarded secret…one they would prefer you never know. Discover it right here.