Einhorn’s Greenlight Buys Oil States, Apple Shares; Sells Ensco

David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital Inc. bought shares of Oil States International Inc. and Apple Inc., while selling out of Ensco Plc during the first quarter.

Greenlight also took new positions in Hess Corp. and Spirit Aerosystems Holdings Inc., according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission today. The hedge fund lowered its stake in Microsoft Corp. and Seagate Technology Plc.

Greenlight bought $220.2 million of Oil States, which Einhorn said this month may be worth $155 a share if the oil and gas services company converts its accommodations unit into a real estate investment trust. The stock has rallied 6.1 percent to $101.25 since his May 8 comments.

Einhorn added 1.09 million Apple shares to bring his stake to $1.06 billion, or 16 percent of the portfolio. It was the only stock in which he increased an existing position. The stock has dropped 19 percent to $428.85 this year.

Appaloosa Management LP, the hedge fund run by billionaire David Tepper, cut its stake in the iPhone maker by 41 percent last quarter, according to a regulatory filing today. Birinyi Associates Inc. also trimmed its holdings in the company, a separate filing said.

Einhorn said May 7 that he increased his bet on the iPhone maker after Apple took a “major step forward” by issuing debt to give cash to shareholders. Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook announced the largest stock-repurchase program in history last month amid mounting pressure from Einhorn and other investors to return more cash to owners.

‘Loyal, Sticky’

“Our thesis remains that Apple has a terrific operating platform,” he said on a conference call this month. “Its loyal, sticky and growing customer base will make repeated purchases of a growing portfolio of Apple products.”

Greenlight picked up $89.2 million worth of shares in Hess, an oil company based in New York, and $31.4 million of Spirit Aerosystems, which makes airplane equipment, the filing showed.

The hedge fund exited its $225 million stake in Ensco, an offshore drilling company. It also sold $115.3 million in shares of Microsoft and $57.5 million of Seagate. Kynikos Associates Ltd.’s James Chanos said this month he is betting against Seagate as the switch to cloud computing reduces demand for hard disk drives.

Einhorn, 44, established a reputation as a short seller by betting against Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. before it collapsed in 2008. In a short sale, a trader sells borrowed shares in a bet they can be repurchased at a lower price. He founded the $8.8 billion hedge fund in 1996.

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