Apple Inc. (AAPL) Gets the Boot From Icahn, Einhorn

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Apple Inc. stock, it appears is now no more in the good graces of prominent investors. Activist investor Carl Icahn and David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital have shed the stock in the Q4, reveals a series of U.S. SEC filings.


Funds abandoning Apple

Icahn lowered his Apple holding by 7m shares or 13% to 45.8m shares compared to the previous quarter. While the Greenlight Capital sold 44% of its Apple shares to end the year with 6.3m shares. Icahn and Einhorn have not always been in favor Apple’s financial policies, but have long believed that the stock is undervalued. In May last year, Icahn expected Apple’s stock to hit $240, which was $100 more than what the stock was trading at that time. Einhorn, who too was bullish, picked up 11.7m Apple shares in the Q3 2015.

In addition, Adage Capital Partners and Blue Ridge Capital also reduced their stake in Apple by 5% and 11% during the same period, respectively. At the end of the year, Adage owned 8.1m shares and Blue Ridge 2m shares, says a report from Reuters.

Passport Capital, which reported 100,642 shares in September, had no Apple shares as of Dec. 31. Meanwhile, Appaloosa Management also sold around 1.25 million shares, a sequential drop of 3%. There were few funds that were bullish also. Bridgewater Associates raised their stake 19% to 327,452 shares, and Tiger Global Management initiated a new position of 10.6m shares.

Apple Pay in China

In separate news, Apple Inc. will launch its payment service in China on Thursday, says a report from Market Watch, citing person familiar with the matter. This will be the US firm’s first attempt to make a mark in the Asian payment market.

For launching its services, Apple has partnered with UnionPay and 19 Chinese banks. UnionPay holds a monopoly on bank-card payments in China. Apple launched its payment service in the US in 2014, and since then has expanded the service to the UK, Australia and Canada.

Apple Pay allows users to pay for the purchase via iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches. For making payment, users can tap their devices against scanners displaying Apple Pay or UnionPay’s QuickPass, which is a chip-based contactless payment service.

In China, the electronic payments is already widely used with over 358m Chinese using their mobile devices to make online payment, claims the 2015 numbers from the official China Internet Network Information Center.

On Tuesday, Apple Inc. shares closed up 2.73% at $96.56. Year to date, the stock is down over 8% while in the last one-year, it is down almost 24%.

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Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both marketing and Finance side. He has work as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, playing PC games and cricket.


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