Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL - news) has suffered another bruise to its stockmarket reputation after it emerged that Dan Loeb, the legendary US hedge fund manager, has ditched a $375m (£322.7m) stake in the iconic technology company.
Mr Loeb, who runs Third Point and has been dubbed the most successful hedge fund manager in the world, sold his entire holding of 710,000 shares in Apple at the end of December, a regulatory filing in America has revealed.
He is the latest financier to reveal his exit from Apple. A recent flurry of regulatory filings have led some analysts to argue that the recent fall in Apple’s stock has been driven exclusively by hedge fund selling .
Shares in Apple reached an all-time high of $705.07 on September 21 last year. But by the end of 2012, the stock had plunged 24pc amid fears that the competition had caught up and profits margins would come under more strain. Apple shares have dropped another 12pc this year.
In his final letter to investors of 2012, Mr Loeb said that Apple was in his top five losing positions during the fourth quarter. By the end of the year, he had sold the position.
Mr Loeb is closely followed by investors around the world. The former Citibank trader, who according to Forbes is worth $1.3bn, set up Third Point in 1995. Since its inception, Third Point has generated returns of about 25pc a year, far outperforming global indices.
In December it emerged that Third Point had made $500m profit from a bet on Greek debt that he placed just months before. Since its outbreak in 2009, the eurozone debt crisis has wrong-footed some of the best known investors.
Mr Loeb, 51, who has boasted that he owns two of New York state’s most expensive properties, has said his key skill is being able to identify mispriced assets.