One-time AAPL skeptic Warren Buffett appears to now be strongly invested in the company’s future. Just three months after it was discovered that his conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway had purchased more than a billion dollars worth of AAPL stock, a new regulatory filing reveals that the Berkshire has boosted its stake by 55% to a holding worth $1.46B, reports Reuters.
Berkshire owned 15.23 million Apple shares worth $1.46 billion as of June 30, up from 9.81 million shares as of March 31, according to a regulatory filing from Buffett’s Omaha, Nebraska-based conglomerate …
Berkshire’s previous investment in the company was credited with helping the stock climb back above the $100 mark following its fall after the company’s Q2 earnings report revealed a substantial year-on-year fall in iPhone sales.
The WSJ reports that the initial investment in AAPL was made by one of Buffett’s deputies.
While Mr. Buffett has long voiced his aversion to investing in technology companies, it turns out the initial investment was made by one of his stock-picking lieutenants. Todd Combs, who joined Berkshire in 2011, and Ted Weschler, who arrived a year later, have shown a willingness to wade into corners of the market that Mr. Buffett won’t touch, including the tech sector.
Reuters says that it isn’t clear who made the later decision to increase Berkshire’s investment.
Buffett is typically responsible for larger investments such as Wal-Mart, while his deputies handle smaller investments.
“They have more of a trading orientation than Buffett, and may view Apple as attractive because the stock appears cheap or may have a catalyst later this year,” Jim Shanahan, an equity analyst at Edward Jones, said in a phone interview. “If Warren Buffett is buying a stock, he’s probably not going to sell it, or at least not sell for a very long time.”
Bloomberg reports that the investment has likely already paid off.
It’s not clear exactly when in the first quarter Berkshire went bobbing for a bargain. But assuming it bought in at the first quarter’s volume-weighted average price of $97.61, it has made a paper profit on that first parcel of shares of $116 million. And assuming it topped up its stake at the second-quarter volume-weighted average price of $97.73, its paper profit on that added stake is already around $64 million. On top of that, Berkshire earned roughly $14.2 million in dividends.
AAPL shares are up 0.25% in after-hours trading.