updated 07:10 pm EST, Mon November 15, 2010
Also divests of HP, SanDisk and chipmakers
Famous investment fund manager Ken Heebner, who scored big in the early part of this decade by betting against technology stocks ahead of their fall, has divested himself of nearly all his holdings of Apple and HP stock, along with SanDisk and lesser-known semiconductor makers Avago and Micron Technology, SEC filings show. No reason for the sell-off has been publicly announced, but Heebner's move -- which actually happened near the end of last quarter -- was revealed on Friday, sparking a sudden three-percent drop in AAPL. Hewlett-Packard's stock also suffered a similar dip.
Apple's stock had been trading at around $316 before the news, which along with other normal economic factors helped move the stock down to below $306 before moving back up slightly, finishing Friday at $308.03. At the final bell on Monday the stock had lost a further 99 cents, closing at $307.04.
Heebner still has 110,000 shares of Apple, but sold 1.04 million shares (about 90 percent of his holdings). The exact date and selling price of Heebner's stake in Apple is not known, but the stock has risen substantially over the past two months; in mid-September the stock was selling around $265 per share.
Heebner's Capital Growth Management fund is ranked one of the top-performing funds of the last 10 years, based largely on his prescient move to divest technology holdings earlier this decade, much of which he has since bought back. Overall, the largest portion of his investments -- the CGM Focus Fund -- has averaged an 18 percent return over the past 10 years, making it one of the top performers. The fund did suffer a 48 percent loss in 2008, but rebounded in 2009 with a 35 percent gain, and so far this year is averaging a 12 percent return.
Heebner is known for fast turnover and sudden changes of direction, but given his overall performance his investment moves are watched very closely. So far this quarter, he is known to have increased his stake in Southwest Airlines and Priceline.com among other companies.