Hedge Funds Dump Apple, Jump into Hess, Dell Fights in Q1
Hedge funds and other big investors are reporting their quarterly holdings to the Securities and Exchange Commission, offering a glimpse into what some of the big fish were buying and selling during the first quarter.
David Tepper's Appaloosa Management cut his Apple stake by about 40 percent, as of the end of the first quarter, according to its latest 13F regulatory filings.
Tepper told CNBC on Tuesday that he had cut back on his Apple position. "I along with everybody else is waiting to hear what they have to say," he said. "Do they have something revolutionary on the horizon? Or do they have something evolutionary. If its evolutionary, they've got a problem."
Tepper wasn't alone in cutting back on his Apple exposure. Julian Robertson's Tiger Management sold its entire Apple position in during the first quarter, according to its latest 13F filing. At the end of the year, Tiger had held 42,125 shares of the iPhone maker.
Tiger Global, meanwhile, slashed its stake in Apple by 75 percent to 260,000 as of the end of the first quarter. Blue Ridge Capital also exited its Apple position during the quarter.
David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital was a buyer of Apple in the quarter, raising its stake by 83.5 percent to 2.4 million shares. Earlier this month, Einhorn said on a conference call for his Cayman Island-based re-insurer, "We've added to our Apple position; now we just wait for the release of Apple's next blockbuster product."
Maverick Capital was another Apple buyer in the quarter, increasing its stake by 26.7 percent to 690,000 shares.
Form 13F is a quarterly report of equity holdings filed by institutional investment funds with at least $100 million in assets. These filing only reflect positions as of the end of the quarter and do not reflect current holdings.
(Read More: Apple Should Be Valued at $240, Here's Why: Analyst)
Social media stocks got a boost on Wednesday after activist hedge fund Jana Partners' regulatory filings revealed large stakes in Zynga and Groupon as of the end of the first quarter. The fund took a 21.9 million share stake in Groupon and a 25.4 million share stake in Zynga.
In other tech investments, Farallon Capital Management took a new 2.46 million-share position in Dell, which is currently embroiled in a corporate buyout fight between management and billionaire investor Carl Icahn. Highfields Capital, meanwhile, bought 23 million shares of the computer maker in the quarter.
Elsewhere in tech, Greenlight dissolved stakes in Yahoo and Google while cutting positions in Seagate Technology and Microsoft. Appaloosa added to its SanDisk position and took a stake in CheckPoint Software, while dissolving its stake in Oracle. Third Point also cut its Yahoo stake by 15 percent.
(Read More: It's a 'My Cousin Vinny' Market, Bullish Tepper Says)
Hedge funds were also taking positions in Hess during the first quarter. Elliott Management, increased its stake in Hess to 5.25 million shares as of the end of the first quarter as it looks to pressure the company to break up. Hess and Elliott have been locked in a heated proxy battle for months. Shareholders will vote on competing slates of nominees for the company's board at its annual meeting on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Greenlight took a 1.2 million share stake in the oil and gas company, while Dan Loeb's Third Point took a 1 million share stake. Tepper's Appaloosa also took a stake in Hess in the quarter.
Hedge funds were also buying a range of financials. Appaloosa added to its MetLife and took a stake in Prudential during the quarter. Tiger Management took a position in Citigroup, as did John Paulson's Paulson & Co.
Among the sellers, George Soros' hedge fund dissolved its stake in JPMorgan and cut its position in Citigroup. Tiger Management and Appaloosa reduced their AIG positions in the quarter, while Third Point closed out its stake in Morgan Stanley and Capital One.
Tiger Global added exposure to consumer and media stocks in the first quarter. It took stakes in JC Penney and Lululemon, as well as added positions in Comcast (the parent of NBCUniversal which own CNBC and CNBC.com), Disney and Netflix. George Soros's hedge fund also took a new stake in Netflix during the quarter.
In metals, Paulson maintained his 21.8 million share position in the SPDR Gold Trust as of the end of the first quarter. But slashed its holding in miner Barrick Gold. Leon Cooperman's Omega Advisors also took positions in the SPDR Gold Trust as well as stakes in the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF during the first quarter. Soros trimmed his SPDR Gold Trust stake, but like Cooperman took a stake in the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF.
Jana Partners and Soros also took new stakes in Boeing during the quarter.
Jana and Cooperman's Omega also took big stakes in supermarket chain Supervalu in the first quarter.