Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway first bought Apple stock in 2016, and since then its become the crown jewel in the conglomerate’s $360 billion equity portfolio, contends an article Yahoo! Finance. The stake is now worth $110 billion and accounts for 40% of Berkshire’s stock holdings, making their ownership in Apple just under 6%.
Buffett often discusses the company’s stake in Apple and there is much anticipation for what he’ll say at this year’s annual meeting, especially given Apple’s expansion in India, augmented reality headsets, and building computer chips in-house. Shares of Apple are up almost 30% so far this year, and its latest earnings report showed iPhone sales were brisker than expected. Along with its insurance operations, BNSF railroad, and the Berkshire Hathaway Energy subsidiary, Buffett considers Apple as one Berkshire’s four “jewels.” The initial investment of $36 billion has brought in steady dividends of $775 annually on average, according to Buffett’s 2020 letter to shareholders that is cited in the article. And Buffett took his time before jumping on the Apple bandwagon, declining to buy stock in the company upon the launch of the iPod in 2001 and the iPhone in 2007. His interest was based more on the growth in Apple’s services business and wearable revenue, which brought in $78.1 billion and $41.2 billion, respectively. Buffett is also a vocal admirer of Apple CEO Tim Cook; at the 2021 annual shareholders meeting, Buffett called Cook “one of the best managers in the world…And he’s got a product that people absolutely love.”