Remember how Apple was doomed earlier this year, and how the iPhone X was a massive flop — only for Apple to pull out a record March quarter and prove everyone wrong? Well, it seems that a large number of folks took the Apple failure narrative pretty seriously.
According to a new report, during the first three months of this year, institutional investors reduced their holdings in Apple at a greater rate than any time since the 2008 financial crisis. In total, that added up to around 153 million shares sold.
This drop in holdings is the third overall reduction in holdings in the last four quarters — minus the last three months of 2017 during which there was an 8.6 million share increase. One group to exit Apple was billionaire hedge fund manager David Tepper’s Appaloosa Management, which dropped around $770 million worth of AAPL during Q1.
The notable exception to the general loss of interest in Apple is Warren Buffett. The renowned investor’s Berkshire Hathaway firm shelled out for a massive 75 million AAPL shares during the first three months of 2018. That joins the 165.3 million shares it owned at the end of last year, cementing the company as the third largest public Apple shareholder.
“It is an unbelievable company,” Buffett told CNBC this month. “If you look at Apple, I think it earns almost twice as much as the second most profitable company in the United States.”
Overall, Apple shares are up 10 percent on the year to date. It will be interesting to see how many of the financial institutions come back to AAPL over the second quarter of this year!