Did Warren Buffett himself sell those 36 million Apple shares?

According to Neil Cybart, a $4 billion sale would have required his personal approval.

From “Warren Buffett Cuts Apple Stake” posted Tuesday to Above Avalon subscribers:

This latest action represents the most aggressive trimming Buffett has done to Berkshire’s Apple stake.

Back in 2018, Berkshire trimmed its Apple stake by 12M shares as one of Buffett’s portfolio managers, Todd Combs or Tedd Weschler, cut his Apple stake in half to buy something else. Combs and Weschler each have ~$13B to manage. Berkshire sold another 15M shares earlier this year.

Given the size of this most recent Apple sale (36M shares), the selling was very likely driven by Buffett himself.

At its peak, Berkshire’s Apple stake stood at 1.02B shares. The $113B stake now consists of 944M shares (vs. 980M shares at the end of June). This means Buffett has cut his AAPL stake by 7.5% from the peak. Buffett’s cost basis in Apple is around $35 per share.

My take: Nice cost basis!

10 Comments

  1. Darren Grayson said:
    AAPL was up like 30% from June 30 to Sept 30 so even if he sold a bit his holdings still outperformed the rest of his portfolio.

    2
    November 17, 2020
  2. Kathy Corby said:
    Seems likely that the sale represents simple rebalancing, given his $35 cost basis. Must be overweight AAPL, so trimming is prudent. Doubt under the circumstances this represents a loss of faith in the company, or even concern about current valuation being too high. Although it goes without saying that some analysts and TV commentators will spin it as such.

    5
    November 17, 2020
  3. Michael Goldfeder said:
    Apple has been his best investment for quite some time. Maybe his best idea ever.

    We’ll see what he invests this Apple money into, and then compare it later to where Apple goes in the future.

    4
    November 17, 2020
  4. Jerry Doyle said:
    Ms. Kathy is correct & discerning. This investment move was discussed this morning by participants on Squawk Alley and all agreed with deep conviction it was nothing more than a rebalancing of Berkshire’s portfolio.

    0
    November 17, 2020
    • Jerry Doyle said:
      Excuse me, Scott Wapner’s crew on “Fast Money” this morning. It was analyzed there.

      0
      November 17, 2020
  5. Jerry Doyle said:
    OK, here’s the link from this morning’s Scott Wapner’s crew on “Fast Money” discussing this investment move by Buffett’s team. Forgive the multiple postings, but earlier I was grabbing a quick bite to eat and using my iPhone.

    It’s an informative discussion and I am sure “spot-on.”

    https://apple.news/ANbbVgO_qR5iB1a2XOOzgeg

    0
    November 17, 2020
  6. Jerry Doyle said:
    Another quick observation for Robert Paul Leitao and for those of you planning to participate in his scheduled Zoom call for Apple 3.0 subscribers.

    The stated purpose of Robert’s Zoom group discussion is “… to transform the world’s discourse on Apple.” Robert has not expounded on that purpose nor did he provide specificity. Without sounding presumptuous, though, I believe I know from where Robert may be coming.

    Listen to what Ms. Tiffany McGhee has to say about Apple in her comments in Scott Wapner’s interview of her. Tiffany McGhee: “…. Who are you comparing Apple to (with)? It’s not Apple to Apples at all! It’s Apple to Oranges. There is no other company like Apple!”

    Ms. McGhee gets it! That is an abstruse statement for the common investor to understand about Apple. It is not abstruse for those of us on PED 3.0. We all have known the company Apple as some hermetical company of which we strive to wrap our brains around. We know that many analysts have no clue; and, that is why their target prices are so beneath water levels.

    Continue….

    2
    November 17, 2020
  7. Jerry Doyle said:
    Continue….

    Apple is so esoteric for the typical investor to understand and this may be where Robert is wanting his Zoom call group discussion to go: in transforming the world’s discourse on Apple through seeking clarification of this enigmatic company.

    Anyway, I found Ms. Tiffany’s comments poignant for it affects so much of what we strive to understand about Apple, such as the assignment of a proper P/E ratio, etc. Apple is not a tech company, a consumer staple company, etc. It is much more.

    2
    November 17, 2020
  8. Jim Moskun said:
    I am an Apple 3.0m subscriber and haven’t heard of the Leitao zoom call. How do I get an invite?

    0
    November 17, 2020

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