Apple closes at record high after Buffett boosts stake

Adjust Comment Print

Berkshire Hathaway will host its annual meeting for shareholders in Omaha, Nebraska this weekend.

It wound up being what Buffett describes as a "momentous" day for his investment career, as the Dow Jones industrial average saw a large decline, spooked by escalating geopolitical headwinds.

At the time, the holding, one of Berkshire's biggest stock market gambits, was worth more than $28bn.

Buffett spoke highly of China's growth over past decades, saying that China has unleashed the potential of its citizenry in the past 60 years or so.

Earlier this year, Buffett inspired new speculation on the subject when he promoted Greg Abel and Ajit Jain to vice chairmen and expanded their responsibilities.

What China has undergone in the last 50 or 60 years is "a total economic miracle", Buffett said. "A surprise element to this year's meeting would be if Buffett and Munger share the stage with them".

Berkshire reported a $6.3 billion loss in investment income in the first three months of the year.

Buying Apple shares partly accomplishes that, even though Mr. Buffett would prefer to buy whole companies.

Berkshire Hathaway has always been hopeful about Apple as it now owns 165.3 million shares in the company. What is more surprising to investors is the not the fact that Buffet has invested in 75 million more Apple shares but the fact that he is completely out of IBM. Buffett said he still spends most of his time reading about businesses, thinking and fielding the occasional phone call. "Why not just stay away from tech?" Berkshire runs railroads and sells insurance, paint, ice cream, manufactured homes and batteries, among other businesses. Buffett reiterated Saturday that he thinks shareholders will be better off if that cash is reinvested in the business, not used for dividends.

Berkshire entered the residential brokerage business in 2000 when it bought a majority interest in MidAmerican Energy (now named Berkshire Hathaway Energy) and in 2017 expanded that business with the acquisition of brokerages Long and Foster, Houlihan Lawrence and Gloria Nilson.

Dion Rabouin is a markets reporter for Yahoo Finance.

But according to Buffett, the economic relationship between the USA and China - and free trade in general - is too important to worry about a trade deficit.

Still, Seifert says "Geico and auto insurance is the big elephant in the room". Buffett is also known as a public critic of Trump. Revenue from services surged 31 per cent to a record US$9.2 billion in the most recent quarter. Other investors will be watching to see if Buffett is considering selling his huge stake in the bank.