November 16, 2015 / 8:59 PM / 2 years ago

Big hedge funds trimmed Apple stakes during 3rd-qtr share slump

NEW YORK, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Top U.S. hedge funds trimmed their positions in Apple Inc during the third quarter, a period when shares of the iPhone maker fell 12 percent.

A filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission released on Monday showed that Adage Capital Partners held 8.5 million Apple shares on Sept. 30, down 4 percent from June 30.

Other recent filings showed that Bridgewater Associates held 274,852 Apple shares as of Sept 30, about half as many as three months earlier, and that Coatue Management LLC owned 6.8 million shares on Sept 30, twenty percent fewer than in the prior quarter.

Tiger Eye Capital LLC, which held 356,502 Apple shares in June, held none in September.

Apple shares declined 12 percent during the third quarter, in part because of concerns about sales of its iPhone, to close at $110.30 on Sept. 30. They reached a high for the year of $134.54 in April. In recent weeks the stock has remained close to the quarter-end level and closed Friday at $112.34.

The sale of shares could have protected the third-quarter hedge fund sellers against losses, though they also could have sold before July 20 when the stock closed at $132.07, its highest close of the quarter. (Reporting by Ross Kerber; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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