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Even at its massive size, Apple may be under-owned by investors

  • UBS says Apple is the most underweighted stock versus its average benchmark weighting among global active fund managers, according to its analysis.
  • The company's shares are up 32 percent this year and have a current market value of just under $800 billion.
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The world's largest company by market value may still be under-owned by investors.

Apple is crushing the market this year. The company's stock is up 32 percent year-to-date through Friday compared with the S&P 500's 6 percent return in the same time period, ballooning its market value to nearly $800 billion.

Yet Apple, on average, makes up just 1.3 percent of the portfolios of global active fund managers, according to UBS. That's well below its average weighting of 2 percent in global indexes like the S&P 500 that they benchmark against, according to UBS. The company's weighting in the S&P 500 is even higher, at about 4 percent.

UBS shared a list of the top 10 most crowded and non-crowded stock lists to investors on Monday, and Apple was at the top of the non-crowded list.

Analyst Shanle Wu's team aggregated all the positions from global active fund managers, using FactSet institutional ownership data. They then compared the weightings versus the "relevant equity index benchmark" to calculate the investor and active net weight percentages.

Apple made the top of the underweight list because it has a weighting 70 basis points below the average index benchmark weight.

The level of how crowded a stock is in terms of institutional ownership is a key metric fund managers use to assess a position's risk.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Savita Subramanian has said it's more difficult for crowded stocks to move higher since everyone is already in the trade. The flip side is also true, as investors can pile into a non-crowded stock when sentiment becomes more bullish.

In another report Monday, RBC Capital explained how Apple stock can get to a $1 trillion market cap in 2018.

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