It was one of those days. Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) shares fell to a 6-month low on Thursday as mutual funds and hedge funds rushed to take profits from the stock, which has seen a spectacular increase this year.
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The stock had appreciated about three-fourths this year, becoming the most valuable company by market capitalisation, as first the iPad 3, then the iPhone 5 and then the iPad Mini hit the markets.
However funds, which were overweight on the stock, must have probably felt that it was high time they booked profits. Year-end dividend pay-out considerations and returns to investors have played a major part in this mad scramble to exit.
The stock is now about a quarter percent down from the highs it scaled in September shortly after the launch of its iPhone 5; though for the year as a whole it is still up 30 percent.
The stock fell 2.10 percent to $525.62 on Thursday and then fell further to $524.58 in after-hours trading. The highest during the year was $705.07. Slightly more than 28 million shares changed hands during the trading session, compared to the three-month average daily trading volume of nearly 19 million shares.
More than 800 hedge funds and mutual funds count Apple among their top ten holdings at the end of the third quarter according to data provided by Insiderscore.com.
Exxon Mobil and Microsoft are the second and third favourites in funds' portfolios but they are fairly distant.
While the iPhone 5 was received enthusiastically by customers, the lack of a `wow’ factor in the phone has led analysts to speculate that the company had reached a stagnation point in its innovation cycle.
This has led to worries over the company' ability to sustain its growth momentum, especially in regard to its revenues.