Buffett's Berkshire more than doubled its stake in Apple: CNBC

Mon Mar 6, 2017 3:40pm EST
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By Sam Forgione

NEW YORK (Reuters) - (Repeats February 27 story with no change to text following corrections for previous stories in this series.)

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett told CNBC on Monday his conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway Inc had more than doubled its stake in Apple Inc. since the end of 2016, making it one of Berkshire's biggest equity holdings, and that U.S. stocks overall were not in "bubble territory."

"Apple strikes me as having quite a sticky product and an enormously useful product to people that use it, not that I do," said Buffett, chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway. He said Berkshire's Apple stake, currently at about 133 million shares, was worth about $18 billion based on Friday's closing price and amounted to Berkshire's second-biggest holding.

At the end of Dec. 31, Berkshire had held 61.2 million shares for a total of $6.75 billion, according to regulatory filings. Buffett said his ambitious move into Apple shares was piggybacking on the initial investment made by Buffett's deputy investment managers, Todd Combs and Ted Weschler.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook had done a "terrific job," Buffett said, but added he had not bought shares since the company's earnings report.

Buffett, 86, who told the cable television network that Berkshire had spent about $20 billion on stocks since just before the Nov. 8 U.S. election, also said the U.S. stock market was cheap with interest rates at current levels.

Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes last yielded 2.333 percent in morning U.S. trading.

Buffett said it was extremely difficult to attempt to find a floor in stock prices and that he did not know what would happen in the near term in the equity market.   Continued...

FILE PHOTO - Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett plays bridge during the Berkshire annual meeting weekend in Omaha, Nebraska, U.S. on May 3, 2015.  REUTERS/Rick Wilking/File Photo