Hedge Funds Blamed for Apple’s Beat Down

Shares of Apple have been battered since the iPhone 5 was released last September. After touching $705.07 on September 21, shares of Apple have fallen more than 30%. Falling profit margins and increased competition were largely blamed for the drop. But now we’re learning there was another factor. Another BIG factor.

According to documents filed Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, mandatory disclosure statements indicate that a handful of hedge funds parted with more than one million shares of Apple in the home stretch of 2012.

Noted stock pickers including Leon Cooperman, Eric Mindich and Thomas Steyer unloaded billions of dollars of Apple shares between September 30 and December 31, according to disclosure documents filed on Thursday.

Despite shares still trading at a relatively abysmal $466, Reuters reports that a growing number of analysts and traders expect AAPL to rebound significantly in 2013.

“The stock just went up so much in early 2012 and then was coming back to earth,” says Justin Walters, co-founder of Wall Street research firm Bespoke Investment Group. “Three months from now, we’ll be seeing a lot of the people who sold starting to pick it up again.”