Warren Buffett's Apple stake is worth $169 billion — more than the value of many S&P 500 companies

Updated
Warren Buffett clapping.
Warren Buffett.AP Images
  • Warren Buffett's piece of Apple is worth $169 billion, or more than 450 of the S&P 500 companies.

  • Berkshire Hathaway pared its stake by 13% last quarter; it would have been worth $194 billion.

  • Apple stock has surged by 25% in under three months to a record high, helped by AI buzz.

Warren Buffett's stake in Apple is worth more than 450 of the S&P 500 companies following a surge in the iPhone maker's stock over the past six weeks.

Buffett's conglomerate, Berkshire Hathaway, owned about 790 million Apple shares worth $135 billion at the end of March, company filings show.

Apple stock has soared by 25% since then to a record $214 at Thursday's close, valuing it at $3.29 trillion and just ahead of Microsoft. That means Berkshire's 5.1% stake is now worth $169 billion, assuming it's still intact.

The result is that Buffett's slice of Apple is worth more than all but the top 45 companies in the S&P 500, according to MarketBeat data. In other words, if Berkshire's slice of the iPhone maker were a public company, it would be more valuable than Verizon ($167 billion), American Express ($160 billion), IBM ($155 billion), Uber ($148 billion), Nike ($142 billion), and many other blue-chip businesses.

Berkshire's position has jumped in value by about $34 billion this quarter. That reflects broader investor optimism about the stock market and economy and fresh buzz around the tech titan following its embrace of AI tools such as ChatGPT this week.

Yet it's worth noting that Buffett and his team pared their Apple wager last quarter by 13%. Their previous 905 million shares would have been worth $194 billion at Thursday's close — a figure larger than the market capitalizations of Accenture ($189 billion), Cisco ($184 billion), and both Disney and McDonald's ($183 billion each).

Buffett explained why he cut back on Apple during Berkshire's annual meeting in May. He wanted to realize some of his profits in anticipation of the US government raising taxes to tackle its ballooning debt. He added that holding cash wasn't the worst idea at a challenging time for the global economy.

The investor may also have been wary of relying too much on Apple. That single holding accounted for more than 40% of Berkshire's $336 billion stock portfolio at the end of March and makes up nearly a fifth of Berkshire's $876 billion market cap.

Buffett probably left billions of dollars on the table by cashing out some Apple shares last quarter, but he won't mind too much. Berkshire's cost base for the holding was $31 billion at the end of 2021, its annual report for that year shows, suggesting the company's made more than five times its money on paper.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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