Date
23 October 2018
Berkshire Hathaway, controlled by legendary investor Warren Buffett, has confirmed that it has boosted its stake in Apple significantly during the first quarter of this year. Photo: Reuters
Berkshire Hathaway, controlled by legendary investor Warren Buffett, has confirmed that it has boosted its stake in Apple significantly during the first quarter of this year. Photo: Reuters

Berkshire confirms it is now Apple’s No. 2 shareholder

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway on Tuesday confirmed that it has become Apple’s second-largest shareholder, owing about 240 million shares in the iPhone maker as of end-March.

In a regulatory filing, the conglomerate disclosed that it invested US$14.8 billion in equities during the first quarter of 2018, with much of the money going to Apple, Reuters reports.

Berkshire held 239.6 million shares worth more than US$40 billion in Apple, according to the filing.

That gave Berkshire a roughly 5 percent stake in the tech giant, surpassing BlackRock and trailing only Vanguard Group, according to Reuters data.

Buffett told CNBC earlier this month that he would “love to own 100 percent” of Apple, suggesting that he might buy more shares of Cupertino-based firm for the right price.

In other disclosures Tuesday, Berkshire revealed that it has more than doubled its investment in generic drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. 

Berkshire said it owned about 40.5 million Teva American depositary receipts (ADRs) worth about US$693 million as of end-March, up from 18.9 million ADRs three months earlier.

In other moves, Berkshire shed an investment dating to the mid-1970s, selling its stake in Graham Holdings, the former publisher of the Washington Post.

The sale of Berkshire’s last 107,775 Graham shares ended an investment that once exceeded US$1 billion, Reuters noted.

Berkshire also shed a more than six-year-old investment in IBM that Buffett has admitted was not his best.

As of end-March, Berkshire owned about US$173 billion of equities in all, as well as dozens of businesses in the railroad, insurance, energy, chemical, food and retail and other sectors.

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CG/RC

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