Apple's Largest Shareholder Cuts Stake 10 Percent

Monday, 1 Apr 2013 | 12:56 PM ET
Getty Images

Portfolio manager Will Danoff, whose $92 billion Fidelity Contrafund is the largest active shareholder in Apple, cut its stake in the company by 10 percent during the first two months of 2013.

Danoff began trimming his Apple holdings late last year, but the recent monthly update from Boston-based Fidelity shows deeper cuts in the maker of iPhones early this year.

Apple shares were down 1.8 percent at $435.35 in Monday morning trading on Nasdaq. The stock is off 38 percent since hitting an all-time high of $705.07 in late September. Rival smartphone makers such as Samsung Electronics have gained broader consumer acceptance, making the terrain more difficult for Apple.

Apple dropped to Contrafund's No. 2 holding, behind Google. Danoff, considered one of the best stock pickers among mutual fund managers, has outperformed the S&P 500 by 3.3 percentage points a year over the past 15 years while running Contrafund.

In 2012, Apple was by far the fund's top individual contributor, Danoff said in a recent shareholder update. Although he has cut his position amid a steep price decline, he said he still views Apple as an inexpensive blue-chip stock.

The Contrafund reported holding 10.43 million shares of Apple worth $4.6 billion at the end of February, according to Fidelity's latest monthly update for the fund. It owned 11.56 million of the shares at the end of December.

Google accounted for 5.8 percent of Contrafund's net assets, and Apple made up 5.2 percent, according to Fidelity's disclosure. In November, the latter accounted for 8.2 percent of Danoff's holdings. Contrafund is Apple's second-largest overall shareholder, after the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund.

Contrafund is up 9.18 percent this year, beating 64 percent of the funds in the large-cap growth category, but it trails the 10.6 percent return on the S&P 500 index.

  Price   Change %Change


Contact Technology


    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    › Learn More
  • Matt Hunter is the senior technology editor at CNBC.com.

  • Cadie Thompson is a tech reporter for the Enterprise Team for CNBC.com.

  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.

  • Jon Fortt is an on-air editor. He covers the companies, start-ups, and trends that are driving innovation in the industry.

  • Lipton is CNBC's technology correspondent, working from CNBC's Silicon Valley bureau.

  • Mark is CNBC's Silicon Valley/San Francisco Bureau Chief covering technology and digital media.