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.
The filing also said Berkshire cut its stake in Walmart Stores, the world’s largest retailer, by 27 per cent to about 40.23 million shares from 55.24 million. Walmart has been in Berkshire’s portfolio for more than a decade.
It was unclear whether Buffett or one of his portfolio managers, Todd Combs and Ted Weschler, are investing in Apple.
Berkshire owned more than $133 billion of equities as of June 30. Buffett is typically responsible for larger investments such as Walmart, 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.” Berkshire also owns roughly 90 businesses including Geico car insurance, the BNSF railroad, Dairy Queen ice cream, Duracell batteries, and Fruit of the Loom underwear. It also paid $32.1 billion in January for aircraft and industrial parts maker Precision Castparts Corp, Buffett’s largest purchase.
Share prices often rise when investors perceive that Berkshire has given them its imprimatur, including the 3.7 per cent one-day boost that Apple got in May after Berkshire unexpectedly revealed it had taken a stake.
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