Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Which financial giant owns the biggest slice of Apple Inc.? - U

February 11, 2013: 11:47 AM ET

According to recent SEC filings, BlackRock was buying shares while Fidelity was selling

From Apple's 1/7/13 proxy statement. Click to enlarge.

From Apple's 1/7/13 proxy statement. Click to enlarge.

FORTUNE -- David Einhorn and Tim Cook may make headlines for the million-plus Apple (AAPL) shares they own or are promised. But those shares are a drop in the bucket compared with the holdings of BlackRock Inc., the world's largest asset manager and Fidelity Investments, one of America's largest mutual fund and financial services groups.

Which of these two financial giants owns more of Apple -- and thus has more sway in Apple shareholder decisions? The usual way to find out is to check the proxy statement Apple files with the SEC before each shareholder meeting (next one: Feb. 27).

But this year, it turns out, the "definitive" statement the company issued on Jan. 7 is already out of date.

Using data from February 2012, the proxy shows Fidelity Investments as the big dog with more than 51.5 million shares and BlackRock in second place with less than 49.1 million. (See table above).

But last week, BlackRock reported in a SEC Form 13G that it owned 49,807,372 shares of Apple -- up 746,164 shares in the space of a year.

Meanwhile, Fidelity reported in a Form 13F last September that it was down to 45,494,145 Apple shares, having apparently unloaded more than 6 millions shares between Feb. 14 and Sept. 30.

UPDATE: Fidelity posted (and Apple re-posted) its SEC Form 13G and it shed even more shares than we thought. As of Dec. 31 it owned 41,472,327 Apple shares. In 12 months it sold more than 10 million Apple shares, 4 million of them in the December quarter.

Wow.

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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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