November 16, 2015 / 10:09 PM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-Hedge funds trimmed Apple stakes during 3rd-qtr share slump

(Adds more fund holdings)

By Ross Kerber

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

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 filings showed that Appaloosa Management held 1.3 million Apple shares as of Sept. 30, down from 2.5 million shares on June 30; 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.

Also, Nevsky Capital reported holding 908,156 Apple shares at Sept. 30, compared with 2.6 million at June 30.

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 Monday at $114.18, up 1.6 percent for the day.

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.

Some big shareholders stood by Apple during the third quarter, including billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn. On Monday he reported holding 52.8 million Apple shares on Sept. 30, unchanged from June 30. Another filing on Monday showed Cliff Asness' AQR Capital Management held 7.6 million Apple shares, little changed from the prior quarter.

A buyer of Apple during the quarter was David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital. It disclosed owning 11.2 million Apple shares at Sept. 30, up from 7.4 million Apple shares at June 30. (Reporting by Ross Kerber; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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