Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is one of the most talked-about stocks, and for good reason. During the first quarter of the year, large funds bought and sold millions of shares, but it’s difficult to get the full picture based on each individual filing.
Fortune contributor Philip Elmer-DeWitt looked at all the data from the 13F filings of the major funds in order to get a better, more fuller picture of what the largest investors in the U.S. are doing with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).
Apple Inc. (AAPL) Is Still The Number One Equity
According to Elmer-DeWitt, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) continued to be the top equity in the portfolios of the largest funds. He checked out Whale Wisdom’s compilation of information regarding Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and this week’s 13F filings. Numerous media outlets—ValueWalk included—published headlines indicating that the funds were fleeing Apple, but that isn’t the whole picture. Some are indeed fleeing, but more are increasing their position in the stock than reducing it.
It seems as if the number of funds that sold off their Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares during the first quarter is much higher than it has been in the past because the stock has struggled in recent months, so the sell-offs are much more noticeable. In addition, we’ve almost come to expect that large funds are selling the stock because it’s been falling in recent months. However, the results show that this isn’t the whole story.
Apple’s Share Numbers Are Down, But More Funds Are Adding Them
The data indicates that although the number of Apple shares held by major institutional shareholders fell by 5.48 percent, more of the large funds actually increased their holdings in Apple during the quarter than reduced them.
As of the end of March, there were 1,809 funds which owned shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). Of those funds, 650 of them had Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) as their top holding. The number of funds which added to the position they already had in Apple was 1,009, while only 664 funds reduced their position in the stock.
Apple Sell-Outs Vs. New Purchases
Whale Wisdom has two more interesting statistics that Elmer-DeWitt doesn’t list in his article in Fortune. As it turns out, the number of funds which opened new positions on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is pretty well balanced to the number of funds which closed out their position. The data indicates that 201 large funds sold off all their Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares, while 199 initiated new positions in the stock.