Warren Buffett offloads 115 million AAPL shares

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway offloaded around 13% of its Apple holdings in Q1 2024, the conglomerate revealed this weekend. Despite selling around 115 million shares, however, Buffett reaffirmed his commitment to AAPL going forward.

Meanwhile, Tim Cook, who made the trip to Omaha for Berkshire’s annual meeting on Saturday, praised Buffett for his belief in Apple.

Warren Buffett offloads 115 million AAPL shares

As reported by CNBC, Berkshire’s Q1 2024 earnings report revealed that its stake in Apple is now worth $135.4 billion – indicating that it holds around 790 million shares. Based on Apple’s stock price, this would mean Berkshire sold about 115 million shares, CNBC says.

Still, Apple is Berkshire’s largest holding by a wide margin. Likewise, Berkshire is Apple’s largest shareholder outside of ETF providers.

During Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting on Saturday, Buffett praised Apple and said it’s an “an even better business” than two of the conglomerate’s other major holdings, American Express and Coca-Cola. Buffett also assured investors: “Unless something dramatic happens that really changes capital allocation, we will have Apple as our largest investment.”

Buffett didn’t offer specific details on why Berkshire sold 13% of its Apple holdings in the quarter. He did, however, imply that it was to increase its cash stake for tax purposes:

“It doesn’t bother me in the least to write that check and I would really hope with all that America’s done for all of you, it shouldn’t bother you that we do it and if I’m doing it at 21% this year and we’re doing it a little higher percentage later on, I don’t think you’ll actually mind the fact that we sold a little Apple this year.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook was in the audience of Berkshire’s annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska on Saturday. With regard to Berkshire’s decision to offload some of its Apple holdings, Cook told CNBC that “it’s a privilege to have them as a shareholder.”

When Berkshire sold 10 million shares of AAPL in 2020, Buffett later admitted that the decision “was probably a mistake.” In Q4 2023, Berkshire offloaded around 1% of its AAPL holdings (10 million shares), so this marks the second consecutive quarter that the conglomerate reduced its stake in Apple.

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