Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Look who's been dumping their Apple holdings

May 25, 2011: 11:52 AM ET

The institutions that control 71% of the company's stock moved a lot of shares last quarter

Click to enlarge. Source: Business Insider

Sammy the Walrus IV, who writes a Tumblr blog called AAPL Orchard and describes himself with a pseudo mathematical formula (Engineering and Finance background + Cynicism + Apple Knowledge = the Sammy Persona) seems to have got hold of some interesting Apple (AAPL) institutional shareholder information.

He shared it with @SammyWalrusIV's 129 Twitter followers Tuesday in a series of cryptic tweets that Business Insider has largely verified with Bloomberg data (see chart).

Sammy's tweets:

  • Who sold the most AAPL shares in 1Q11? Janus Capital (sold 3 million shares or 29% of its shares worth approx. $1 billion)
  • Who bought the most AAPL shares in 1Q11? Capital Research bought 3.7 million shares increasing AAPL position by 51% or approx. $1.2 billion
  • Goldman Sachs sold 61% of its AAPL shares in 1Q11 (approx $500 million).
  • Apple's largest shareholder (Fidelity) sold 4% of its AAPL shares in 1Q11.
  • Out of Apple's 10 largest owners, 4 reduced their holdings (all modestly) in 1Q11
  • Sammy's take? Not many big AAPL sellers at the top of the ladder in 1Q11, just not many interested in buying more shares
  • At the of the day...all that matters concerning AAPL shares are decided by its top 10 shareholders (collectively owning approx 25% of Apple)

Note to SEC: During the quarter that Goldman Sachs reportedly sold 61% of its Apple shares at prices between $329 and $360, its sell-side Apple analyst was sending clients reports with a BUY rating and price target of $450.

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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