Hedge funds blamed for Apple share price dive

The sharp decline in Apple's shares at the end of last year, which led the stock to end 2012 down more that 24 per cent from its September peak, was partly a result of a sell-off by some of Wall Street's biggest hedge funds, regulatory filing made on Thursday show.

Among those who sold out during the final three months of 2012 were Leon Cooperman and his Omega Advisors fund, which sold its entire stake of more than 266,000 shares, and Farallon Capital, the hedge fund founded by Thomas Steyer, which sold more than 130,000 Apple shares during the period.

The sell-off is notable in that one of the factors which made Apple a stock market darling was the patronage of big-name hedge funds. Apple's stock rose to more than $700 ($452) apiece in September before beginning a period of decline that has pushed it below the $500 mark amid worries about future growth and increased competition from rivals such as Samsung.