It wasn’t Warren Buffett who dumped 2.9 million Apple shares last quarter

“None of the shares under Warren’s direction have ever been sold.” — Debbie Bosanek, Berkshire Hathaway

From Jonathan Stempel’s Berkshire trims Apple stake, adds Suncor and Red Hat, exits Oracle, posted on CNBC late Thursday:

Thursday’s filing includes investments by Buffett and his portfolio managers Todd Combs and Ted Weschler, but does not say who bought and sold what.

Berkshire said in the filing that its Apple stake shrank to 249.6 million shares in the quarter from 252.5 million, reducing its reported stake to below $40 billion as Apple’s share price slid 30 percent.

Buffett, though, had nothing to do with the selling.

“One of the managers other than Warren had a position in Apple and sold part of it in order to make an unrelated purchase,” Buffett’s assistant Debbie Bosanek said in an email. “None of the shares under Warren’s direction have ever been sold.”

My take: A detail missed by most of the early reports., for example:

Market Realist: No More Apple for Buffett despite Stock Falling in Q4


  1. Michael Thompson said:
    The more important information gleaned from the 4th calendar quarter 2018 13F reports that were recently filed was that according to Yahoo Business, Institutions now own about 2.76 billion of Apple’s 4.715 billion shares outstanding.

    I’ve been tracking this quarterly since the 4th calendar quarter of 2017. At that time institutions owned 3.116 billion of the approximately 5.074 billion shares outstanding. Institutions have sold over 400 million combined shares in 1 year. From my perspective they can keep selling. The fewer shares that they control, the better.

    Non-institutional owners of Apple now own approximately 1.955 billion shares, which increased in the 4th quarter.

    I still don’t understand how the stock declined from 233 to 142 when institutions sold about 70 million net shares, Apple bought back 30+ million shares and non-institutional investors increased by tens of millions of shares.

    If Apple spent $20-30 billion on its buyback during the 4th calendar quarter, the stock would not have declined at all.

    February 15, 2019

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