Buffett's Berkshire cuts IBM stake, takes bigger bite of Apple

Lloyd Doyle
November 15, 2017

Warren Buffett's company sold nearly a third of its remaining IBM shares in the third quarter and made several tweaks to its stock investments.

The company sold off almost 32 percent of its remaining IBM shares to leave it with 37 million shares at the end of the quarter. (BRK-B, BRK-A, BRKa) lowered its IBM stake by about a third to 37 million shares as of September 30, when it was valued at roughly $5.4 billion.

During the third quarter, as Berkshire cuts its IBM stake further, it loaded up on Apple shares, boosting its holding in the iPhone maker by 3 percent to 134.1 million shares.

In May, Buffett revealed he had begun selling IBM, telling CNBC he did not value Big Blue as highly as he did six years earlier when he started buying.

Buffett plowed more than $10 billion into IBM in 2011, making it one of his company's largest investments. The sale of 17 million shares of IBM were at an approximate price of $150 per share, which was below Berkshire's average cost of $170 per share.

"IBM is a big strong company, but they've got big strong competitors, too", he said. The shares closed at US$148.89 on Tuesday.

Berkshire also increased its holdings in Synchrony Financial and Monsanto, and reduced its investments in Charter Communications and Wells Fargo in the third quarter.

It also no longer reported a stake in Wabco Holdings Inc, which sells brake and suspension systems for commercial vehicles. But Buffett handles the biggest investments in Berkshire's portfolio, such as Coca-Cola and Wells Fargo while investments of less than $1 billion are likely to be the work of Berkshire's two other investment managers. In April, it withdrew a Federal Reserve application for permission to exceed that level, citing restrictions on its ability to do business with the bank.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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