Tiger Global, Appaloosa Cut Apple Stakes

Tiger Global Management LLC, Appaloosa Management LP and Tudor Investment Corp. are among the hedge funds that sold large stakes in Apple Inc. during the first quarter as the iPhone maker’s stock slumped.

Tiger Global, the hedge fund founded by Chase Coleman, cut its stake by 790,000 shares, or $443.7 million including market losses, in the March period, according to a regulatory filing yesterday. Appaloosa, run by billionaire David Tepper, sold 372,661 shares. Tudor Investment, the $13 billion hedge-fund firm run by Paul Tudor Jones, sold its entire stake valued at $205.5 million, a filing showed.

The disclosure of the reduced stakes weighed on Apple shares and underscores concern that gathered steam last quarter over how soon the company will unveil a best-selling product that can build on the success of earlier releases, such as the iPad. Apple declined 17 percent in the first three months of the year, even as U.S. stocks added 10 percent, amid signs that sales growth for the iPhone is slowing.

Apple shares slipped 3.4 percent to $428.85 at yesterday’s close in New York, the biggest decline since April 17. The stock has lost 39 percent of its value since reaching a record high in September amid concerns that Apple is facing slowing profit and sales, narrowing margins and intensifying mobile competition.

Tudor Investment sold 386,124 shares of Apple at the end of March, according to a regulatory filing. Billionaire George Soros’s Soros Fund Management LLC also sold 157,176 shares.

Greenlight Buys

Other investment managers paring stakes in Apple include New York State Teachers Retirement System Holdings, which sold 53,446 shares; AQR Capital Management LLC, which sold 151,290 shares; and Birinyi Associates Inc., which sold 11,275 shares.

Tepper, who had been investing in Apple for the past two years, said in a May 14 interview with CNBC that he sold Apple shares because the maker of the iPhone and iPad devices hasn’t been “evolutionary” or “revolutionary” recently.

Not all hedge funds cut their stakes in Apple. Greenlight Capital Inc., the firm run by David Einhorn, added 1.09 million shares during the first quarter. Einhorn had pushed Apple to return more money to shareholders before the company announced an increased dividend and stock-buyback program last month.

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