Omega Sells Apple Holdings, Buys Facebook, SandRidge Energy

Leon Cooperman’s Omega Advisors Inc. exited its $177.7 million Apple Inc. stake and bought shares of Facebook Inc. and SandRidge Energy Inc. in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Omega sold 266,404 shares of Apple during the three months ended Dec. 31 as the world’s largest company by market value tumbled 20 percent during the quarter, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission today. The hedge fund spent $84.2 million on Facebook and took a 5 percent stake in oil and gas producer SandRidge to become the company’s sixth-biggest shareholder, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Apple, which makes iPhones and iPads, has retreated 33 percent from a peak in September as increased competition and a lack of breakthrough products threatened to reduce profit margins. The stock fell 0.2 percent to $467.01 in New York today.

Omega bought $154.8 million in shares of SandRidge during the fourth quarter, according to the filing. The company, which produces natural gas and crude oil in the U.S., fell 9 percent during the fourth quarter. The stock rose for the first time in two weeks today, gaining 4.8 percent to $5.90.

Facebook advanced 2 percent to $27.91 today. Omega now ranks as the company’s 38th largest shareholder after purchasing

3.2 million shares, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Omega managed about $7.3 billion as of Jan. 31, according to the company’s website. The fund returned an average of 13.3 percent annually since Cooperman founded it in 1991, compared with 11.4 percent for other equity-oriented funds, according to Chicago-based Hedge Fund Research Inc., Bloomberg Markets magazine reported in its August issue.

Omega also sold holdings in drugstore chain Walgreen Co. and bought shares in NYSE Euronext and Sprint Nextel Corp. The company sold its 1.88 million shares in Walgreen one quarter after buying the stock. The company reported adjusted first-quarter earnings of 58 cents a share on Dec. 21, missing expectations of 70 cents, according to a Bloomberg survey of 15 analysts.

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