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How Warren Buffett’s Position On Apple Stock Has Changed

As of the end of Q1, Apple stock represented less of Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio than it did in December 2021. Is Warren Buffett less bullish on AAPL?

Warren Buffett and his Berkshire Hathaway continue to own massive amounts of Apple stock  (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report. The conglomerate disclosed the holdings of its portfolio as of March 31 on Monday, May 16, via a quarterly 13-F filing.

The Apple Maven digs in and assesses how the Oracle of Omaha’s position on Apple has changed since the beginning of the year. Is he more or less bullish on shares of the Cupertino-based tech giant?

Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting in Los Angeles, California. May 1, 2021.

Figure 1: How Warren Buffett’s Position On Apple Stock Has Changed

(Read more from the Apple Maven: 2 Reasons To Buy Apple Stock On The Dip)

AAPL: more shares, lower allocation

As of the end of Q1, Apple shares accounted for 42% of Berkshire’s portfolio. The figure is astonishing. However, some may notice that the ratio dipped from nearly 48% three months ago. Did Buffett & Co. cash in some of their Apple chips in early 2022?

Oddly, the opposite is true. Between the end of last year and six weeks ago, Berkshire bought almost 3.8 million Apple shares. Assume AAPL’s average share price in the quarter, and the additional investment adds up to $614 million — a sizable amount for any of us, mere mortals.

So, the allocation of Berkshire’s capital to AAPL decreased to “only” 42% not because of fewer shares owned, but because Apple stock underperformed the rest of the conglomerate’s holdings. Relative to other stocks, Apple now represents a smaller chunk of the portfolio’s market value than it did in late Q4.

The chart below compares the returns in AAPL in Q1, in darker blue, vs. those of Berkshire’s other top 5 stocks. Only Bank of America underperformed Apple, and not by much. Berkshire Hathaway itself gained 17% in the first three months of 2022, while AAPL dipped 2%.

Figure 2: AAPL in Q1, in darker blue, vs. those of Berkshire’s other top 5 stocks.

Figure 2: AAPL in Q1, in darker blue, vs. those of Berkshire’s other top 5 stocks.

This is to say that, despite a drop in portfolio allocation, Warren Buffett and team remain at least as bullish on Apple stock as they have been recently. Because of his value approach to investing, in fact, the Oracle of Omaha may have taken advantage of the early March dip to bet even more on the Cupertino company.

Buffett’s other key moves

A few million more shares of Apple were barely the main change in Berkshire’s portfolio. A few other moves in Q1 were at least as noticeable:

  • Buffett loaded up on Chevron stock, effectively quadrupling Berkshire’s position in the oil and gas supermajor to a total market value of $25.9 billion. CVX is the fourth-largest holding in the portfolio.
  • Activision Blizzard also became four times as large a holding in the portfolio and is now a top 10 stock. Because Microsoft already announced the acquisition of the video game producer in January, this move may have been an event-driven or merger arbitrage play.
  • Berkshire has been shedding its position in Wells Fargo, a disappointing bet in the financial services space, for several months now. Meanwhile, in Q1, Buffett entered a new long position in Citigroup amounting to $2.9 billion.
  • Verizon was almost completely dumped in Q1. Berkshire owned nearly 160 million shares of the US-based telecom last December, for a market value of around $8.3 billion back then.

Ask Twitter

As Apple stock underperformed Berkshire’s other holdings in Q1, only 42% of the conglomerate’s portfolio is now allocated to AAPL vs. 48% last quarter. Is this an opportunity for Warren Buffett and his team to buy the dip in Apple?

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(Disclaimers: this is not investment advice. The author may be long one or more stocks mentioned in this report. Also, the article may contain affiliate links. These partnerships do not influence editorial content. Thanks for supporting Apple Maven)