The big funds on Apple: Who bought, who sold last quarter
FORTUNE — For 361 days of the year, hedge funds are black holes — invisible to the public. But once every three months, 45 days after the end of the quarter, they are required by the Securities Exchange Commission to disclose any changes in their holdings in a so-called Form 13F.
The 13Fs for the first quarter of 2014 came in Thursday, and according to Whale Wisdom‘s Daniel Collins, Apple AAPL topped the list once again — both in terms of the number of firms holding the stock and in the value of their holdings — although the gap between No. 2 Microsoft MSFT was narrower this quarter.
Apple closed the quarter at an adjusted share price of $554.58, up 20%, but the aggregate number of shares held by firms with over $100,000 in management actually fell 6% — perhaps because Apple was once again in the market aggressively buying up its own stock.
94 funds created new Apple positions 842 funds added to an existing Apple position 106 funds closed their Apple position 808 funds reduced their Apple position
But it’s hard to say which way the wind is blowing because there’s an awful lot of hedging going on, as the next four charts suggest. Firms large and small these days are buying and selling puts and calls by the millions.
Susquehanna, for example, might look like a huge bear, having sold more than 4 million shares of Apple in the quarter. But Susquehanna makes a market in the stock, and over the course of same three months it bought nearly 4 million call contracts and sold more than a million puts, both bullish trades.
Below: The 12 funds with the largest stakes in Apple.