The Berkshire Hathaway CEO spent $35 billion to acquire 250 million Apple shares between 2016 and 2018, according to his 2019 shareholder letter. Buffett has since sold some of his Apple holdings, and at last count owned 245 million shares, worth more than $104 billion.
Apple’s third-quarter earnings pushed its stock price up by 10 percent to an intraday all-time high of $425 on Friday, raising its market capitalization to more than $1.8 trillion, making it the world’s most valuable company. Both revenue and earnings per share were also June quarter records.
Apple’s stock price dropped as low as $224 in March as concerns rose over the global health crisis, but has experienced a strong recovery since then, rising by over 80 percent in the last four months. Many other large tech companies, such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Google parent company Alphabet, have experienced similar surges. Apple stock has increased by around 42% this year, growing Buffett’s stake by $30 billion in the past seven months alone.
Apple is the largest investment held in Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio, and worth more than four times as much as its second-largest holding; a $25 billion stake in Bank of America. Berkshire Hathaway’s market capitalization currently sits at about $476 billion, suggesting its 5.7% stake in Apple accounts for more than a fifth of its entire value.
The value of the firm’s Apple stake relative to the rest of its portfolio highlights the extent to which investors are increasingly favoring tech companies and neglecting more traditional businesses such as banks and insurers.