Apple Inc. Losing Confidence Among Fund Managers

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) might be the most talked about tech firm, but among the portfolios managers it is not that popular now days. Though year to date, shares are up 17%, well above the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, the stock still remains significantly underweighted among large cap fund managers, according to a report from Goldman Sachs.

Apple no longer a hot growth company

According to Fund manager, lack of enthusiasm among the portfolio manager is partly due to the fact that Apple no longer appears to be a hot growth company. The Cupertino-based firm has not unveiled any ‘truly new device’ after iPad in 2010. The iPhone maker started paying a dividend, in 2012, which generally indicates that rapid days growth are over, according to Reuters.

Apple will post its fiscal third-quarter on Tuesday, July 22, and analysts are expecting revenue of $38 billion, which is an increase of 7.5% from last year. Majority of the profits for the company comes from the iPhone, which faces increasing competition from Samsung and other Asian players like Huawei and Xiaomi, who are gaining market shares by offering capable devices at reasonable prices.

A co-manager of the Hennessy Technology fund, Skip Aylesworth said, “The company has been in a new-product slump for a while here, and although it’s still growing, it’s becoming more of a value play than a growth play at this point.”

Aylesworth have trusted Apple shares for 12 of the past 15 years, but presently he does not any shares as the company lacks a product that could fuel sustainable high-growth rates.

Less trusted by funds

Apple is the biggest holding of Buffalo Growth Fund, co managed by Chris Carter, who believes that the company’s smartphone business has the ability to support sustainable growth. However, Carter adds that Apple Inc.’s growth has been “potentially scaring off some growth managers,” and dividend is not enough to impress value managers.

According to Morningstar data, only four out of nine actively managed funds have invested 9% or more of their portfolio in Apple shares, compared to forty-six such funds, in 2012.

However, Todd Rosenbluth, director of mutual fund research at S&P Capital IQ,  believes “If a number of large mutual fund managers are underexposed to companies that have a positive earnings surprise, the stock could climb higher as those managers add to existing positions.”


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