Einhorn adds to Apple stake, awaits "blockbuster product"

Tue May 7, 2013 12:46pm EDT
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By Sam Forgione

NEW YORK (Reuters) - David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital has added to its investment position in Apple Inc (AAPL.O: Quote) and is waiting for the company's "next blockbuster product," Einhorn said on Tuesday.

In a conference call for his Cayman Islands-based reinsurer Greenlight Capital Re Ltd (GLRE.O: Quote), Einhorn did not specify when the hedge fund added to its Apple position or the size of its current holdings.

At the end of 2012, the $8.8 billion Greenlight Capital held 1.3 million Apple shares, according to a regulatory filing. At the market close on Monday, the shares were worth about $600 million.

Einhorn, one of the $2 trillion hedge fund industry's most closely watched investors, had been pushing Apple to return some of its massive cash pile to investors.

He said Apple's roughly 17 percent stock price decline in the first quarter led to the biggest loss in the Greenlight investment portfolio in the period.

He added, however, that Apple took a "major step forward" by issuing $17 billion in bonds on April 30, and that its recent plan to return $100 billion to shareholders via an increase in its dividend and share buybacks is a "vastly more shareholder-friendly" policy than it had a few months ago.

"We've added to our Apple position. Now we just wait for the release of Apple's next blockbuster product," Einhorn said.

The hedge fund manager, who has a bullish stance on gold, said he was "somewhat surprised" by the decline in gold prices in April. Over a two-week stretch last month, the price of gold fell 17 percent. It plunged $125 on April 15, its biggest-ever daily loss.   Continued...

President of Greenlight Capital David Einhorn arrives for the Time 100 gala celebrating the magazine's naming of the 100 most influential people in the world for the past year, in New York, April 23, 2013. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson