Loeb's Third Point takes share stakes in Apple, Visa and Dell

Dan Loeb's Third Point hedge fund took new share stakes in Apple Inc, Visa Inc and Dell Technologies Inc during the third quarter, according to regulatory filings late on Thursday.

Third Point, closely followed in the investment community because of its pattern of delivering strong returns, took a 2.5 million stake in Apple, a 2.1 million class A share-stake in Visa and a 2.3 million share-stake in Dell Technologies.

In early November, Loeb told clients that Third Point's bets on corporate debt issued by Dell and Sprint Corp ranked among the year's top winners for the firm.

Through the end of September, the Third Point Offshore fund gained 7.2 percent, beating the average fund's 4 percent return.

Loeb's Third Point also increased its share stake in Facebook Inc by 45.3 percent to 5.5 million class A shares, according to regulatory filings. In addition, the fund increased its stake in Alphabet Inc by 37.5 percent to 550,000 class A capital stock shares, the filings said.

Third Point upped its stake in Monsanto Co by 85 percent to 3.7 million shares, while the hedge fund dissolved its share stake in Marathon Oil Corp during the third quarter, filings said.

Third Point also took a 2.6 million sponsored ADS stake in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, according to the regulatory filings.

The quarterly disclosures of manager stock holdings, in what are known as 13F filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, are always intriguing for investors trying to divine a pattern in what savvy traders are selling and buying.

But relying on the filings to develop an investment strategy comes with some peril because the disclosures are backward looking and come out 45 days after the end of each quarter.

Still, the records offer a glimpse into what hedge fund managers saw as opportunities to make money on the long side. The filings do not disclose short positions, bets that a stock will fall in price. And there is also little disclosure on bonds and other securities that do not trade on exchanges.

(Reporting By Jennifer Ablan; Editing by Sandra Maler and Andrew Hay)