Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been one painful wound for some of the largest hedge funds, by large we mean those who move stocks by mentioning or ignoring them in their discussions. We know David Einhorn lost in Apple and Dan Loeb suffered from investing in Apple. The tech giant was his top losing position of 2012, granted he did not suffer exactly, returning 21.6 percent is quite the opposite. But David Einhorn only posted a 7 percent return last year, which was much less than what was expected based on the Greenlight Capital’s returns during the first three quarters of 2012.
There are also some who decided to exit before it got ugly. Leon Cooperman did not sound so excited about the stock in his last interview and said that he had reduced his stake in the company last quarter. Cooperman said he prefers QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) over owning Apple (Ouch!). Crispin Odey was smarter, he shorted Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and made a profit last year, the last we knew Odey Absolute return was up 33.3 percent. We have come to know of another smaller hedge fund that is counting Apple as a miss. Dorsal Capital (AUM $700 million) lost in Apple as it started to pack up position in the last quarter of 2012. The large dip witnessed in AAPL in the last quarter of 2012 was also seen as a buying opportunity by many investors, as the standing thesis on Apple’s valuation has always been that it will recover eventually. David Einhorn is still bullish about the iPhone maker, despite of underperforming on the holding.
While Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) dipped and incurred losses, other tech companies like Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) gained last year. Dorsal Capital gained from its position in Yahoo, ARM Holdings plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:ARMH) and Ultratech, Inc. (NASDAQ:UTEK). The fund was up 11.3 percent last year. Other tech holdings of Dorsal Capital are a short in Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) and long in Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). The fund also added to its long/short hedge of Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ:WDC) against Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX).
Other hedge fund heavyweights who own a sizeable stake in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) are George Soros, Chase Coleman, D.E Shaw and Julian Robertson. We will be watching closely which one of them decides to stick in and which bails out.