NEW YORK, May 15 (Reuters) - Top U.S. hedge fund management firms, including Leon Cooperman's Omega Advisors and Philippe Laffont's Coatue Management, continued to reduce or slash stakes altogether in Apple Inc during the first quarter, according to regulatory filings.
Coatue cut its holding of Apple by selling 1.2 million shares during the first three months of this year, but it remains the fund's single biggest U.S. stock investment, with 7.7 million shares. Omega Advisors sold all of its 383,790 shares of the iPhone maker during the first quarter.
In the fourth quarter, David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital and Coatue Management reduced their stakes in Apple, which was a big winner in 2014, with its shares rising nearly 38 percent.
At the end of 2014, Apple was one of the hedge fund community's favored positions, according to Goldman Sachs. Their analysis of more than 850 funds with $2 trillion in assets showed 12 percent of hedge funds counted it among their top 10 holdings. And given its size as the largest publicly traded U.S. company, that made it "key for both hedge fund and index performance," Goldman said in its February report.
The actions were revealed in quarterly disclosures of manager stock holdings, known as 13F filings, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. They are of great interest to investors trying to divine a pattern in what savvy traders are selling and buying.
The disclosures are backward-looking and come out 45 days after the end of each quarter. Still, the filings offer a glimpse into what hedge fund managers saw as opportunities on the long side.
The filings do not disclose short positions. As a result, the public filings do not always present a complete picture of a management firm's stock holdings.
The following are some of the hot stocks and sectors in which hedge fund managers either took new positions or exited existing stakes in the first quarter.
Hertz Global Holdings Inc
Barry Rosenstein's Jana Partners raised its stake in the car-rental company by 20 percent to 41.8 million shares. The shares rose 6 percent on Friday after the disclosure in Jana's filings, as well as Hertz posting its review of first-quarter results at the close on Thursday.
JPMorgan Chase & Co
Omega Advisors raised its share stake in JPMorgan Chase & Co by 17.1 percent to 1.1 million shares during the first quarter. (Compiled by Jennifer Ablan. Editing by Andre Grenon)