Warren Buffett doubles Apple stake to more than $18bn

"I'm surprised [Warren Buffett's Berkshire] bought more Apple", Berkshire Hathaway shareholder Robert Miles, also author of the book titled, "The Warren Buffett CEO", said in an interview Monday on CNBC's "Power Lunch". Analysts expect operating profit of around $4.5 billion, or $2,717 per Class A share, down from $4.67 billion previous year, Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S said.

Berkshire had $7 billion of its $122 billion equity portfolio invested in Apple at the end of 2016 after nearly a year of incremental purchases, according to Mr Buffett's letter, but the extra purchases more than doubled the stake to 133 million shares. Berkshire Hathaway now owns 2.5% of Apple. "But we have made no commitment that Berkshire will hold any of its marketable securities forever", he said. "One of the fellows in the office has about 10 million shares and I have, for Berkshire's account, 123 million".

Late previous year Buffett's multinational conglomerate became one of the top two investors in Delta Air Lines Inc., United Continental Holdings Inc., American Airlines Group Inc. and Southwest Airlines Co. When asked about his technology investments, he whipped out a flip phone from his coat pocket.

Apple shares were up 0.3% at 137.13 in the stock market today.

"It is true that we own some stocks that I have no intention of selling for as far as the eye can see (and we're talking 20/20 vision)". (When the common stock dividend rises above 44 cents, the annual dividends on the common stock resulting from the conversion of the preferred would exceed the dividends on the preferred stock).

The expansion of Mr Buffett's investment team at Berkshire has allowed the company to diversify its portfolio of equities, even as it shrinks in importance for the business as a whole.

Buffett is likely to discuss other Berkshire businesses, such as insurance and the BNSF railroad, and shower praise on Berkshire managers, perhaps including investing deputies Todd Combs and Ted Weschler.

Buffett says his company bought more than $9 billion of airline stocks because he believes they are operating more efficiently than they used to.

  • Zachary Reyes