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Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway boosted Apple stake in Q1 – Markets Insider

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Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway boosted its Apple stake in the first quarter, the centibillionaire investor revealed during his company’s annual shareholder meeting on Saturday.
“We actually bought a little more Apple in the first quarter, and Apple bought out some of the other shareholders,” Buffett said, during a discussion about the value of stock buybacks. He didn’t clarify exactly how much, but Berkshire will provide an update on its stock portfolio as of March 30 in mid-May.
Berkshire owned 908 million shares of Apple at the end of December, worth $161 billion. Its Apple stake was worth $159 billion at the end of March, per its first-quarter earnings. That was despite a 2% fall in the stock last quarter, suggesting it boosted its position slightly.
Apple is by far the most valuable position in Berkshire’s stock portfolio, which was worth $391 billion at the end of March. Berkshire is Apple’s largest individual shareholder, with a stake of more than 5%.
Buffett trumpeted the company’s stock buybacks during the meeting, noting it increases Berkshire’s ownership of the company at no cost to Berkshire. He has previously touted Apple as one of the best businesses he knows, praised Apple CEO Tim Cook as a fantastic manager, and counted it among Berkshire’s “four giants” in his annual letter, along with the insurance business, the BNSF Railway, and Berkshire Hathaway Energy.
Berkshire built its Apple stake between 2016 and 2018, spending about $36 billion. It has more than quadrupled its money on the iPhone maker, whose stock has soared from about $37 at the end of 2018 to $158 today.
Buffett’s company disclosed in its first-quarter earnings on Saturday that it spent a net $41 billion on stocks in the period, focused on the financial and commercial and industrial sectors. The Apple purchases help explain why the cost base of its consumer products stocks rose by 13% to almost $41 billion.
Read more: Warren Buffett is on a long-awaited buying spree. 7 experts break down why the investor spent $23 billion on a trio of big-ticket purchases.
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