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The saying "Follow the Money" is a catchphrase made popular in the 70's as a form of investigation. Many investors from all walks of life use the idea to try to emulate the successful financial "Masters" of Wall Street. On Thursday NASDAQ released the latest data showing where the "Big Money" invested in Q1. Institutions have 45 days to file their results, and many waited until the very last minute this time. What is interesting is how they shuffled their money between four of the most popular Tech stocks. And all four of these companies are and/or will be investing huge amounts of money in the "on demand" Internet music business.

Sirius XM (NASDAQ:SIRI), Pandora (NYSE:P) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) have roots in the music business. But now Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) announced on Wednesday that it will offer a streaming subscription based model. Sirius is also subscription based, while Pandora relies on advertising for its revenue. Apple has not made a formal announcement, however all of the sources agree its model will be free to listeners. According to the LA Times:

Analysts said Google All Access, which was unveiled Wednesday, was a preemptive launch ahead of Apple, which is expected to announce its own service next month. Google has stepped up its efforts to ensure that Google is on every screen and on every device so online advertisers can reach those consumers wherever they are and regardless of what they are doing. With music on mobile devices exploding, it was crucial for Google to have its own streaming service to keep users tethered to Google services and Android mobile devices.

Chart forSIRIUS XM Radio Inc. (<a href=

The entry of Apple and Google into this business has been rumored for months. And analysts are divided as to the effect the streaming revenue (and extreme costs) will have on each company. There are many possible scenarios and outcomes. So did this information play a role in this Big Money Shuffle?

Sirius XM has 500 institutional holders with 1,837,468,795 institutional shares held as of March 31. But the top 3 owners sold some of their position. Vanguard sold 19% of its Sirius shares, and upped its stake in Pandora, Apple and Google as shown on the charts below. Wellington also sold a huge chunk of Sirius, and bought more Pandora. FMR sold Sirius, Pandora and Apple and bought Google. However, Blackrock Fund and Blackrock Advisors bought more shares of Sirius and Apple. Who got it right? Obviously that was at least 45 days ago, and a lot of things may have changed since then. But at the end of March Sirius was at $3.08, and then it hit a high of $3.59 on Wednesday. That is a 17% gain in 6 weeks.

Owner NameDateShares HeldChange (Shares)Chg%Value(in 1,000s)
VANGUARD GROUP INC03/31139,760,814(33,104,509)(19.15)493,356
WINSLOW CAPITAL MANAGEMENT, LLC03/31116,028,282(7,984,196)(6.44)409,580
WELLINGTON MANAGEMENT CO LLP03/3187,387,768(53,325,554)(37.9)308,479
BARCLAYS GLOBAL INVESTORS UK HOLDINGS LTD03/3186,265,7695,951,5187.41304,518
COOPERMAN LEON G03/3171,951,203472,000.66253,988
INVESCO LTD.03/3168,770,14012,503,19522.22242,759
FMR LLC03/3163,958,618(63,065,059)(49.65)225,774
STATE STREET CORP03/3161,809,5821,786,8172.98218,188
BLACKROCK ADVISORS LLC03/3158,460,52158,025,40413,335.59206,366
SAC CAPITAL ADVISORS LP03/3153,510,277(16,273,623)(23.32)188,891
BLUE RIDGE CAPITAL, L.L.C.03/3143,300,00000.00152,849
COATUE MANAGEMENT LLC03/3142,662,213(3,132,600)(6.84)150,598
SLATE PATH CAPITAL LP03/3131,250,000(5,500,000)(14.97)110,313
BLACKROCK FUND ADVISORS03/3130,723,6415,296,90920.83108,454
SCOUT CAPITAL MANAGEMENT LLC12/3130,000,00010,000,00050105,900

NASDAQ-SiriusXM

Pandora has 202 Institutional holders with 179,084,112 institutional shares held at the end of Q1. The top owner, Crosslink Capital sold almost 5% of its shares, while FMR sold over 20% of its stake. T Rowe Price, Steadfast Capital, and AllianceBernstein also sold big chunks of Pandora. However several companies were very bullish and bought millions of shares. Orbis holdings established a new position worth over $85 million. At the end of Q1 Pandora hit a low of $13.92, yet it has bounced back up 22% to a high of $17.05 on Wednesday.

Owner NameDateShares HeldChange (Shares)Chg%Value(in 1,000s)
CROSSLINK CAPITAL INC03/3131,900,750(1,634,000)(4.87)528,595
WELLINGTON MANAGEMENT CO LLP03/3120,856,849449,7912.20345,598
BLAIR WILLIAM & CO/IL03/3110,869,7932,521,27830.20180,112
FMR LLC03/318,925,282(2,342,500)(20.79)147,892
GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP INC03/317,902,91311,184.14130,951
MARKETFIELD ASSET MANAGEMENT LLC03/316,218,5001,759,50039.46103,041
KORNITZER CAPITAL MANAGEMENT INC /KS03/315,553,250(186,500)(3.25)92,017
ORBIS HOLDINGS LTD03/315,167,8045,167,804New85,631
PRICE T ROWE ASSOCIATES INC /MD/03/315,123,001(1,774,100)(25.72)84,888
GREYLOCK XII GP LLC03/314,893,14100.0081,079
VANGUARD GROUP INC03/314,659,9081,268,84737.4277,215
DARUMA CAPITAL MANAGEMENT LLC03/314,524,581134,1433.0674,972
STEADFAST CAPITAL MANAGEMENT LP03/314,271,889(2,389,183)(35.87)70,785
ALLIANCEBERNSTEIN L.P.03/314,145,420(1,542,797)(27.12)68,690
JAT CAPITAL MANAGEMENT, L.P.03/313,575,2463,575,246New59,242

NASDAQ-Pandora

Apple has 2,057 Institutional holders with 570,005,723 institutional shares held. A lot of investors have sold in a panic as this stock floundered since September. The biggest seller was T Rowe Price, dropping over 50% of its shares; followed by FMR, Susquehanna International and JP Morgan Chase. Vanguard was the most bullish adding over a million shares. As most of you guessed the bears win this one. At the end of Q1 Apple went as high as $451.82, and fell to a low of $422.36 on Wednesday. That is a 7% drop. But considering the fact that the price has tried to jump up a couple of times, it has remained relatively flat over the last six weeks.

Owner NameDateShares HeldChange (Shares)Chg%Value(in 1,000s)
VANGUARD GROUP INC03/3143,247,8241,164,4842.7718,546,829
STATE STREET CORP03/3137,194,631355,843.9715,950,918
FMR LLC03/3134,747,682(6,409,599)(15.57)14,901,543
BARCLAYS GLOBAL INVESTORS UK HOLDINGS LTD03/3125,668,431428,6851.7011,007,907
NORTHERN TRUST CORP03/3113,848,715298,4102.205,939,021
JPMORGAN CHASE & CO03/3113,551,257(1,802,218)(11.74)5,811,457
BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON CORP03/3112,562,591(410,792)(3.17)5,387,467
INVESCO LTD.03/3112,307,498(370,108)(2.92)5,278,071
SUSQUEHANNA INTERNATIONAL GROUP, LLP03/3112,059,221(4,823,496)(28.57)5,171,597
PRICE T ROWE ASSOCIATES INC /MD/03/3111,659,713(11,939,192)(50.59)5,000,268
JANUS CAPITAL MANAGEMENT LLC03/3110,717,061562,0095.534,596,012
BLACKROCK FUND ADVISORS03/318,888,900334,8143.913,812,005
GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP INC03/318,808,0762,446,42138.463,777,343
NORGES BANK12/317,531,087511,0207.283,229,707
TIAA CREF INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT LLC03/317,319,772(448,812)(5.78)3,139,084

NASDAQ-Apple

Google has 1,659 Institutional holders with 231,303,948 institutional shares held. The bulls are all over this one. There was very little selling among the top fund owners during this time period. Primecap only sold a little over 3% of its stake. The top buyers included Capital Research and Sands Capital. The shares hit a low of $793.30 at the end of Q1, and bounced all the way up to $919.98 on Thursday. That is a 17% increase.

Owner NameDateShares HeldChange (Shares)Chg%Value(in 1,000s)
FMR LLC03/3118,111,695598,6263.4216,588,320
VANGUARD GROUP INC03/3112,251,664418,6063.5411,221,177
STATE STREET CORP03/3111,199,929591,2505.5710,257,903
PRICE T ROWE ASSOCIATES INC /MD/03/319,349,607(107,889)(1.14)8,563,212
BARCLAYS GLOBAL INVESTORS UK HOLDINGS LTD03/317,265,86829,824.416,654,736
JPMORGAN CHASE & CO03/316,420,75934,639.545,880,709
CAPITAL WORLD INVESTORS03/316,420,401105,9151.685,880,381
BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON CORP03/314,684,38197,4072.124,290,378
CAPITAL RESEARCH GLOBAL INVESTORS03/314,315,789420,06010.783,952,788
INVESCO LTD.03/313,926,862(90,127)(2.24)3,596,574
NORTHERN TRUST CORP03/313,915,06990,2692.363,585,773
PRIMECAP MANAGEMENT CO/CA/03/313,096,122(111,315)(3.47)2,835,707
SANDS CAPITAL MANAGEMENT, LLC03/312,884,116393,80215.812,641,533
JENNISON ASSOCIATES LLC03/312,865,151108,7393.952,624,163
DAVIS SELECTED ADVISERS03/312,701,990(13,984)(0.52)2,474,726

NASDAQ-Google

Conclusion: How do you follow the money when it is all over the place? Even though some funds appear (from the data we have) to be winners right now, will the winning continue? Have they already sold? Will they sell soon? We have to consider some of the things that were going on back in March. At Sirius there was a lot of speculation about the buyback, and who the new CEO would be. And there was (and is now) a legitimate fear that Apple and Google music will convert current Sirius listeners to their new music streaming programs. A lot of the speculation is over now. The buyback has started, and James Meyer was named CEO. Internet radio will never replace satellite reception which is exclusive to Sirius. And the programming is more than just music. So I think that Sirius is still a long term buy. Watch for possible dips after the options close on Friday. But don't bet on it, because the company is also buying.

Pandora may be in serious trouble. To be squeezed between Apple iRadio on iDevices and Google's All Access on Android devices would be less than ideal. And the advertising model does not seem to provide enough revenue to cover the costs (from the music labels) of adding more listeners. This is similar to the model that Apple is expected to roll out. And that is one of the reasons investors are uncertain about the success of an iRadio streaming service. Some analysts think that the company will lose money on the idea, but the losses would be offset by the additional iGadget sales such a free service would produce.

Google might have some problems also. Selling subscriptions to something that is unknown to consumers might be tougher than many investors realize. The model has worked great for Sirius XM, but it has taken years to gather 24 million listeners. And as I mentioned, the company offers a variety of sports and talk shows in addition to the music. So I remain bullish on Sirius, but the other three have a lot of potential which might be worth some speculation. Sirius Bulls should keep a close eye on developments at both Google and Apple because Big Money is watching very closely.

Note: If you are interested in doing further research, and want to know all of the funds that own the stocks mentioned, click on the NASDAQ link below each table.

Disclosure: I am long SIRI. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Source: Big Money Shuffles Sirius XM, Pandora, Apple And Google