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Hedge funds tune into Pandora, discard Apple in third-quarter

Umbrellas are seen in front of the Apple store on 5th Avenue in New York May 19, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Thayer
Umbrellas are seen in front of the Apple store on 5th Avenue in New York May 19, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

By Katya Wachtel

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hedge funds took a liking to online music company Pandora Media Inc in the third quarter but soured on Apple Inc , according to regulatory filings published Thursday.

Hedge funds including Philippe Laffont's Coatue Management and Patrick McCormack's Tiger Consumer Management both opened stakes in Pandora of about 1.1 million and 2.9 million shares, respectively, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings showed.

The quarterly disclosures of stock holdings are intriguing for investors trying to get a glimpse into what savvy traders are buying and selling. However, the disclosures are backward looking and come out 45 days after the end of each quarter, and do not disclose short positions - bets that a stock will fall in price.

Nonetheless, the filings are a rare window into the secretive hedge fund industry and the minds of its top managers.

While Tiger Consumer dissolved its Facebook Inc holdings in the third quarter, Coatue opened a large new stake in the social networking site, buying up to 9.2 million shares.

Andreas Halvorsen's Viking Global Investors also opened a new 4.4 million share stake in Facebook. All three managers are part of the crew of so-called Tiger Cubs - hedge funds launched with seed money by Julian Robertson of Tiger Management.

Both Coatue and Viking Global cut their shares in Apple Inc , joining a plethora of other well-known managers that turned on the iPod maker in the third quarter.

Leon Cooperman's Omega Advisors, David Tepper's Appaloosa Management, Lee Ainslie's Maverick Capital and Manish Chopra's Tiger Veda Management all either completely cut or reduced their Apple holdings.

Long one of the hedge fund industry's favorite bets, managers abandoned Apple with vigor earlier in the year as the stock price plummeted.

Cooperman's Omega and Tiger Veda liquidated their holdings of Google Inc in the third quarter, the filings showed, but another internet search engine site attracted buyers over the same period.

Tiger Global Management's hedge fund, co-managed by Chase Coleman and Feroz Dewan, opened a new stake in Yahoo Inc , as did Viking Global, buying up to 9 million shares. But San Francisco based-hedge fund Farallon Capital Management dramatically reduced its Yahoo stake from 11.275 million shares to about 1.8 million.

(Editing by Bob Burgdorfer)

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