Berkshire takes huge bite of Apple, boosts airline stakes

As Apple stock continues to perform well, a United States Securities and Exchange Commission filing today revealed that Berkshire Hathaway has more than tripled its stake in Apple over the last three months.

As of December 31, the firm held more than more than 57.3 million shares of Apple (AAPL) worth more than $6.5 billion. It means the new shares improved by $1.1 billion, and Berkshire Hathaway's total investment in Apple is now valued at $7.7 billion.

Cupertino-based Apple's stock has soared 17 percent this year in its climb to all-time records.

Buffett, Berkshire's 86-year-old chairman and chief executive officer, accelerated his stock purchases after the company's cash hoard hit a record $84.8 billion as of September 30.

Investors like to look at Berkshire's investments for ideas because of Buffett's remarkably successful track record. Buffett has said online retailers such as Inc. present an increasing threat to the big-box retailer.

The Omaha, Nebraska-based conglomerate also owns roughly 90 companies such as the BNSF railroad, Geico vehicle insurance and Dairy Queen ice cream.

Combs and Weschler are the leading candidates to eventually succeed Buffett as Berkshire's chief investment officer.

American climbed 2.5 percent in extended trading at 6:04 NY, while Delta rose 1.8 percent.

The airline investments, meanwhile, suggest that Buffett has overcome his two-decade aversion to the sector after an unhappy - though, he has said, profitable - investment in US Air Group.

Buffett declined to discuss the rationale for the airline investments during an interview with Charlie Rose on January 27, but he did say that the decision to buy was "in large part" his.

Such increases often occur when investors perceive that Berkshire has given a company its imprimatur.


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