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Short sellers 'mugged' Apple stock in late April

Shares of Apple stock were bludgeoned down to their lowest price in over a year in April, thanks in part to an assault by short sellers who took a record interest in the company late in the month.


Short interest in Apple doubled to a record 41.6 million shares between April 15 and April 30, Philip Elmer-Dewitt of Apple 2.0 revealed on Tuesday. In his words, shares of Apple were "mugged" by short sellers, who drove the price of AAPL stock to its lowest level in over a year.

Ahead of its second-quarter earnings report, shares of AAPL dropped to just over $385, a level not seen since 2011. Apple's stock began its tumble in September of 2012, around the launch of the iPhone 5.

Many investors believe Apple put a floor under its share price in April when it announced a massive $100 billion capital return program that will run through 2015. That includes an increase of Apple's quarterly dividend by 15 percent, and a $60 billion share repurchase plan, which is the largest in history.

In particular, Apple's capital reinvestment plans have won over Greenlight Capital Chairman David Einhorn, who made waves earlier this year when he attempted to persuade the company to offer preferred shares. Also