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Apple’s Q4 tumble was driven by big hedge funds

Zach Epstein

Apple Stock Decline

Apple’s (AAPL) share price plummeted from record highs in the fourth quarter last year as the company’s unprecedented growth began to show signs of an imminent slowdown. Investor sentiment seemed to sour across the board but not surprisingly, it turns out big hedge funds were behind much of the trading that sent Apple’s stock spiraling downward.

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Reuters picked through disclosure documents filed with regulators on Thursday and discovered that large funds including Omega Advisors and Farallon Capital dumped billions of dollars worth of Apple shares after the stock hit a record-high $705.07 in late September ahead of the iPhone 5 launch.

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Omega offloaded its entire stake of 266,000 shares and Farallon sold 137,000 Apple shares during the fourth quarter. Jana Partners also sold off its entire stake of 143,000 shares during the fourth quarter as Apple’s stock tumbled more than 25%.

The report notes that Omega and Jana Partners each began accumulating Apple shares in mid-2010 when the stock was trading below $300.

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