“We haven’t changed our [Apple] holdings,” Buffett told CNBC’s Becky Quick on Thursday, on the eve of the kickoff of Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder meeting in Omaha this weekend.
Apple shares are up more than 32% this year, including a boost from the iPhone maker’s better-than-expected first-quarter earnings report this week.
“I was pleased with what they reported,” Buffett said, while noting he never makes investment decisions based on a single quarterly report. “What they talked about and reported is consistent with the reason we own $50 billion-plus of Apple.”
Berkshire owned more than $40 billion worth of the tech giant as of end of last year, according to its 2018 annual letter. The conglomerate decreased its stake in Apple by nearly 3 million shares in the fourth quarter of 2018, but Buffett said at the time that the selling wasn’t under his direction.
“Unless — and I have no reason to think this is true — but there’s one fellow that owns a little over 1% of our holdings in the office and I don’t see what he does every day. I have no reason to think he’s bought or sold Apple,” Buffett added Thursday.
The “Oracle of Omaha” first announced Berkshire’s investment in Apple in February 2017 despite Chairman Buffett’s usual aversion to tech stocks. He told CNBC at the time that he clearly likes Apple, and “we buy them to hold.”
Tens of thousands of investors are heading to Omaha for the annual shareholder meeting on Saturday to hear from Buffett about his succession plan, investment strategy and market outlook.