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Life insurers dumped Apple stock in 2012

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Life insurers reduced their aggregate holdings of Apple stock in 2012, but boosted their investments in Google and BlackBerry, new research shows.

SNL Financial LC published this finding in a new report on insurers’ moves into and out of tech stocks in 2012. The survey — which tracks fund shifts among life, P&C and health insurers collectivel, and by insurance company — is based on recently released statutory data.

The report reveals that life insurers shed 65,919 shares of Apple stock in 2012, the value of their holdings ending the year at $245 million. Similarly, health insurers dumped 16,418 shares of Apple stock last year, the sector’s holdings totaling $102 million.

By contrast, P&C insurers boosted their investment in Apple stock by 59,934 shares, yielding holdings of $970.1 million.

By company, Allstate Corp. sold the largest amount of Apple stock, disposing of 71,800 shares valued at $36.1 million. The next four largest disposals of Apple stock, the report shows, were carried out by:

  • Erie Insurance Group: 63,844 shares ($39.4 million)
  • Northwestern Mutual: 62,103 shares ($28.5 million)
  • Prudential Financial: 50,800 shares ($31.4 million)
  • Sentry Insurance: 35,450 shares ($16.2 million)

“Despite analysts’ lofty predictions for Apple stock, it slipped toward the end of 2012 and has faced challenges in 2013,” the report’s authors state. “Its stock fell 12 percent after its Jan. 23 earnings report, but analysts and investors were not concerned about its effect on insurers’ investment portfolios.

“Even among companies that owned the highest fair value of Apple shares, the ratio of holdings of the stock to surplus often did not exceed 2 percent,” the authors adds.

Stock of both Google and BlackBerry (formerly Research in Motion), the report adds, fared better among life insurers. The industry collectively bought 13,716 shares ($92.8 million) of Google stock last year. Life industry holdings of BlackBerry stock rose by 30,950 shares valued at $600,000.


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