Warren Buffett Adds More Apple, Cuts IBM Stake

Marco Green
November 15, 2017

Buffett, who is known for savvy investments, has admitted that the IBM bet was not one of his best.

IBM, whose full name is International Business Machines Corp, accounted for most of the stock sales that Buffett and his deputies Todd Combs and Ted Weschler made in the quarter.

Berkshire cut its IBM stake 32 percent in the third quarter to about 37 million shares, Reuters reports, citing a United States regulatory filing on Tuesday. 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. The move shocked many, because the billionaire had long steered clear of technology stocks.

Earlier this year, he did an about-face, saying his thesis was flawed and began to cut back the holding.

The IBM investment had been viewed as a surprise, given the 87-year-old Buffett's resistance to investing in technology companies and businesses he found harder to understand, Reuters noted.

The Omaha, Nebraska, based conglomerate Buffett leads also added to its Monsanto investment.

At the same time, he showed he's learning. The stake was initiated by one of Buffett's deputy investment managers previous year. Investors watch Berkshire's filings closely because of Buffett's successful record.

Meanwhile, it also became Bank of America Corp's largest shareholder by exercising warrants for 700 million shares. The investment dates to 2011, when Berkshire injected $5 billion into the lender when its shares were slumping over concerns about payouts tied to the housing meltdown. Prior to the third quarter, Berkshire held 54.1 million shares in IBM. The stake was worth more than $17 billion at the end of September.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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