Apple is a technology stock, and we know that billionaire investor Warren Buffett rarely likes such stocks. The chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway has readily admitted that he does not understand technology, so he has avoided making investments in the sector. There have been, however, some exceptions to this rule over the years.
Why is Buffett bullish on Apple?
Over the past few years, Buffett has made some investments in the technology sector, and chief among them is his investment in the iPhone maker. On Monday, the billionaire said he more than doubled his holdings in the company between the beginning of this year and Apple’s most recent earnings report.
The purchase gives Berkshire Hathaway about 2.5% of the outstanding Apple shares. In addition, it makes the tech giant one of Berkshire’s largest holdings, second only to Coca-Cola, notes CNBC. Buffett said he increased his stake because of Apple’s consumer-retaining power and Tim Cook’s smart capital deployment strategy.
The legendary value investor told CNBC, “Apple strikes me as having quite a sticky product, and an enormously useful product to people that use it.”
When asked which company of Apple and Berkshire Hathaway is most likely to hit a $1 trillion valuation first, Buffett favored the tech firm, notes CNBC.
“I’d bet on Apple just because they’ve got a stronger position,” he said.
Another investor selling Apple shares
Even as Apple’s share price hit an all-time high earlier this month, Buffett remains bullish on the tech company. However, another investor has taken the other side.
Former Vice President Al Gore, also an Apple board member, sold 215,437 shares of Apple stock worth about $29.5 million last week, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Gore finished the sale on Wednesday through multiple trades ranging from $136.37 to $137.12 per share at an average sale price of $136.72 per share. According to a SEC filing, earlier this month, Gore also exercised options on 70,000 shares of the tech giant.
Despite the sale, Gore still owns 230,137 Apple shares, which are worth about $31.5 million based on Friday’s close. Though Gore has taken profits, he still owns a substantial stake in the iPhone maker, notes Forbes. Gore, who has been on Apple’s board since 2003, is currently up for re-election at Apple’s annual meeting on Tuesday.
In pre-market trading today, Apple shares were in the green. Year to date, the stock is up almost 18%, while in the last year, it is up more than 41%.