Warren Buffett surprised many when he purchased nearly 10 million shares of Apple for just shy of a billion dollar investment last month. Warren Buffett is certainly one of the most, if not the most, successful value investors in the world. Hell, he nearly coined the phrase “value investing” and that means that Apple has grown up in his eyes and is a company that should be purchased and held for the future.
But Buffett never invests in tech companies
And that still remains the case. It appears the holding was begun by one of Buffett’s investment managers, either Ted Weschler or Todd Combs. The regulatory filing that Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway filed which covered the trades showed that Berkshire purchased 9.81 million shares of the Cupertino giant for a sum of about $976 million and average share price of $99.49.
It should be said that Berkshire either got in too early or too late as Apple did drop to $89.47 in mid-May, which is almost exactly $10 less per share than the average paid by Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway.
Berkshire’s purchase was a bit of good news for a stock that hasn’t been performing well at the risk of understatement.
Buffett’s purchase of 981 million shares were made before March 14th without giving further details of when and for what prices, simply the average and Buffett didn’t comment on the purchase. It’s quite possible that Berkshire picked up more shares later as Apple continued its decline and that we will be reporting that in the coming months.
Buffett got in while Carl Icahn and David Tepper’s Appaloosa Management were dumping their holdings in Apple.
It’s no secret that iPhone sales are the engine that powers Apple and the first quarterly decline in iPhone sales since its introduction is responsible for the stock’s decline. There appears to be no end in sight at this point as analysis are already predicting poor sales for the yet released iPhone 7 owing to only minor upgrades on the iPhone 6S, or so we’re led to believe.
In May, the earlier purchases by Berkshire made it Apple’s 56th largest shareholder.