Something interesting appeared in today's Release of David Kostin's Hedge Fund Trend Monitor. Actually make that shocking: as of the end of Q1, Apple is no longer the most hedge fund-held stock in the world. After 195 hedge funds held AAPL at the end of 2010, the most of any stock, with Citigroup and JPM in 2nd and 3rd position, over the next 3 months 22 fund or over 10% of the HF holder base have dumped their entire stake. And with a YTD return of just 4% who can blame them... for jumping out of the frying pan and into the "value investor" fire: as of Q1 the most widely held Hedge Fund stock is now Microsoft with 181 holders, up from 161 in the previous quarter. Which unfortunately means that 181 hedge funds have generated a -11% return on this holding. And with few if any funds left who have yet to enter, the only way for MSFT from here on out is down. Not surprisingly, both Citi and Bank of America saw their fans depart, with 12 fund closing out their C positions, and 9 doing the same for BAC.
Then (Q4 2010, and the Q3 2010 spread can be found here):
and Now (Q1 2011):
And for those saying that everyone is piling into gold via ETFs (something we said is not the case and in fact investors are buying physical and shunning paper), Goldman confirms that 11 hedge funds dumped their GLD holdings (still the top held HF ETF), with a 20% drop in net exposure: from $6 billion to $5 billion.
Here is the complete report: