Three months ago when we looked at the latest quarterly hedge fund position tracker from GS, we were not surprised to learn that a record 226 hedge funds were long AAPL stock. And as the chart below proves, a major driver of the increasing price of Apple stock is that increasingly more hedge funds continue to simply pile into the name, which in times of underperformance, such as now with just 11% of hedge funds outperforming the S&P as reported yesterday, is a short-cut means to generating modestly low-risk, high beta due to the collusive nature of all HFs rushing into the safety of one name all at the same time, that at least has some (arguably tenuous if indeed the leaked iPhone 5 photos are of the final thing) fundamentals propping the stock price. Sure enough, in the latest update, the hedge fund hotel California just got bigger once again for the 6th consecutive time, and as of June 30 a record 230 hedge funds were long the stock. We can only imagine how many more peripheral underperforming funds have joined the biggest hedge fund crowd ever since June 30 and have scrambled into the one stock that provides even a modest reprieve from the certainty of career-ending redemption requests come as soon as the September 30 redemption deadline, which is less than one short month away.
Our question at this point is what is the best name for Alpha ex-Apple?