Berkshire Hathaway Now Holds Position of $1 Billion in Apple

Berkshire Hathaway, the company owned and operated by Warren Buffet the legendary investor took a position of $1 billion in Apple, during the first quarter of 2016. The move comes as shares of the technology giant were battered amidst a drop in sales of its iPhone.

The investor’s firm posted that it owned 9.81 million Apple shares on March 31, which at that time was worth $1.07 billion. However, the value of the investment had dropped already a significant amount after Apple posted a revenue decline for a quarter for the first time since 2003.

Buffett, who had for many years avoided tech stocks, previously has professed not to have a good understanding of that sector and argued that it is tough to defend competitive advantages of the businesses.

His track record for investments had been built upon investments with financial companies, industrial businesses and insurers including big names that are common such as American Express and Coca-Cola.

He has not avoided the tech sector completely, as he took a position with International Business Machines worth over $10 billion back in 2011. During this year’s first quarter, Berkshire’s stake in IBM was increased slightly.

Buffet is likely to have seen in Apple an opportunity to buy as the shares were sharply off from highs of last summer as the business struggles in maintaining its surge in sales that followed the introduction of its smartphones with larger screens beginning in late 2014.

The successors in 2015 to the initial bigger screen models have not gained as much enthusiasm from Apple consumers.

Apple shares are down from $130 in July, but were up 1.8% in premarket trading after the announcement of the investment and are trading at $92.10.

Positions held by Berkshire were disclosed in a filing known as 13F with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which is a quarterly requirement for companies that manage over $100 million.

This report indicates how many shares are held by the company and the value for each stake at the end of the most recent quarter, so it is not fully clear if Buffett has kept buying Apple shares since the end of the quarter.

The investment by Buffett in Apple comes after the exit from another investor, Carl Icahn. He said in April that he sold his large position with Apple.

He told reporters at that time that Apple was a great company but was not a “no-brainer” any longer as a choice for investing.

Icahn’s initial investment in Apple was reported to be over $1.5 billion during 2013. He later purchased more.