Buffett’s take on Apple
As noted previously, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B) sold some Apple (AAPL) stock in the fourth quarter. While Berkshire trimmed its stake in Apple by roughly 1% in the fourth quarter, it’s still the company’s biggest holding. Meanwhile, Buffett has reportedly nothing to do with trimming Berkshire’s stake in Apple. According to Reuters, quoting Debbie Bosanek, Buffett’s assistant, “One of the managers other than Warren had a position in Apple and sold part of it in order to make an unrelated purchase.” Bosanek also said, “None of the shares under Warren’s direction have ever been sold.”
To be sure, Buffett has been quite optimistic about Apple. Last year, speaking with CNBC, Buffett said, “I’d love to own 100 percent of it.” Buffett has also supported Apple’s buyback program. However, Buffett’s optimism hasn’t really been reflected in Berkshire’s fourth-quarter buying activity.
Even Apple was conservative with buybacks in the fourth quarter. It repurchased 38 million shares for $8.2 billion, which is less than half the run rate the company had in the preceding two quarters. Apple also sounded positive in its outlook. During its first quarter of fiscal 2019 earnings release, Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO said, “Our fundamental view remains the same. We are optimistic about our future. And we think there is great value in our stock.”
Read Apple and Warren Buffett Have Similar Issues for more information.
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