Berkshire Hathaway Adds Again to Apple Stake, Trims IBM

Warren Buffett. Caricature by DonkeyHotey. Licensed under Creative Commons CC BY 2.0.

In a new 13-F filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Berkshire Hathaway revealed last night that it once again upped its bet on Apple, the worlds most valuable publicly traded company and continued reducing its stake in IBM.

Berkshire Hathaway now owns 134 million shares of Apple worth $22.6 billion. That is equal to 2.6% ownership of the company. About 3.9 million shares were added in the quarter at a cost of about $460 million.

At the same time, Berkshire sold down its stake in IBM at a relatively furious pace. About $2.6 billion of the position was unloaded, leaving Berkshire Hathaway with 37 million shares, or 4% of IBM. At today’s price that stake is worth $5.4 billion.

Warren Buffett, Berkshire’s CEO, announced several years ago his investment in IBM, which came as a surprise┬áto many because of the billionaire’s traditional reluctance to invest in technology. He ultimately grew disenchanted with the investment as IBM’s turnaround has been tougher and has gained less traction than anticipated. At the rate the stake is being sold down, it is likely that Berkshire will sell out of it completely in the future.

Smaller changes were also made to the portfolio in Wells Fargo and Synchrony Financial. Berkshire sold a small amount of its large Wells Fargo stake to maintain compliance with a rule barring it from owning more than 10% of a bank holding company without submitting to additional regulation. Berkshire sold 3.8 million shares in the quarter to maintain its 9.4% stake in the bank as the company repurchased shares.

Synchrony Financial is a relatively small stake for Berkshire at $678 million. It represents 2.6% of the company. 3.3 million shares were added at a cost of $100 million in the most recent quarter. This activity was most likely generated by asset managers Ted Weschler or Todd Combs and not Buffett himself.

The share ownership, shares outstanding, percentage ownership of the company, and current value are listed below.

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