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Warren Buffett confirmed after the concluded Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholder Meeting that the firm has topped its holdings on Apple.
As reported by CNBC, the 91-year-old investment veteran Warren Buffett, popularly called the Sage of Omaha, said the firm acquired as many as $600 million worth of Apple shares when the stock recorded its biggest slump within the first quarter. “Unfortunately the stock went back up, so I stopped. Otherwise who knows how much we would have bought?” the Berkshire Hathaway CEO and Chairman told CNBC’s Becky Quick on Sunday after the company’s infamous shareholder meeting.
Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) is the biggest publicly traded company in the world and Berkshire Hathaway Inc (NYSE: BERK.A) is the biggest shareholder of the firm with a holding of about $159.1 billion as of the end of the first quarter, a holding that makes up 40% of its equity portfolio. As a tech giant, Apple has been introducing impressive products across the board but has also faced significant challenges owing to the uncertainties attached to the Fed’s interest rate hike as well as a constraint in the global chip shortage.
Despite the challenges, Apple has continued to dominate the mobile phone ecosystem, reporting a revenue of $97.28 billion against the $93.89 billion estimated by analysts. Warren Buffett saw the potential in the company and is being rewarded adequately for his bet on the company, as it secures as much as $775 million on an annual basis in terms of shares.
The attractions accrued to Apple are also centered on its share buyback program to which it committed a total of $90 billion in share buyback as unveiled last week. The company doubled down on its share buyback which came in at $88.3 billion in 2021, maintaining its rank as the firm that takes off its own shares from the market the most.
Would Warren Buffett Lose His Trust With Impending Antitrust Case in Europe?
The European Union has hit Apple with an antitrust lawsuit on grounds that it was restricting rivals’ access to its NFC chip technology. Should the firm be found guilty of these charges, it can result in the Cupertino-based firm paying a heavy fine as well as opening up its mobile payment system to competitors.
“We have indications that Apple restricted third-party access to key technology necessary to develop rival mobile wallet solutions on Apple’s devices,” EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said in a statement. “In our statement of objections, we preliminarily found that Apple may have restricted competition, to the benefit of its own solution Apple Pay.”
While Apple has confirmed that it is working closely to address the negotiations, the question remains whether it will lose the trust of its biggest allies including Warren Buffett. However, should the previous challenges the company has faced and surmounted be taken into consideration, there will be no doubt as to the loyalty and future commitments of the Sage of Omaha.