Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA), the conglomerate holding company owned by business mogul Warren Buffett, disclosed in a regulatory filing Monday that the company owned 9.81 million shares in Apple, Inc. (AAPL) stock at the end of the first quarter, worth about $1.1 billion. Marking the company’s fist investment in Apple, Berkshire is now ranked as the 56th largest shareholder of the technology giant.
Buffett’s stake is Apple is noteworthy because Berkshire has traditionally been avoidant of technology stocks, with The Wall Street Journal noting that Buffett has previously “professed to not understand the sector and argued that it is difficult to defend its competitive advantages.”
However, Buffett has seemingly changed his attitude towards investing in the tech sector in recent months. According to Forbes, Buffett “is getting into the [Apple] stock at a time when it has been punished by investors amid a slowdown in iPhone sales,” and it seems the legendary investor is taking advantage of the lowest share price Apple has had in years. Not only did the computing company’s first-quarter revenue drop for the first time in 13 years, but last week Apple’s stock fell to a two-year low, leading Google’s parent company, Alphabet, to briefly overtake Apple as the world’s most valuable company.
Amidst a continuing decline in iPhone demand and Apple’s disappointing earnings report last month, the value of Berkshire’s original investment has already dropped significantly, from around $1.1 billion to about $888 million.
News of Buffett’s Apple buy-in comes softly after the April exit of former Apple investor, billionaire activist Carl Icahn, who said that although he still views Apple as “a great company,” that he decided to sell all his shares because of concerns over the Chinese economy.
In addition to purchasing Apple shares last quarter, fillings also show that Buffett increased his stakes in another tech-oriented company, IBM, while selling all his AT&T shares. Berkshire’s largest holdings remain in other non-tech related corporations, including Coca-Cola, Kraft Heinz and Wells Fargo.