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Famed investor Warren Buffett again trims stake in Apple

Warren Buffett [Berkshire Hathaway]

The Sage of Omaha has decided to trim his Apple holdings, as part of what appears to be a small move away from big tech.

Buffett first invested in Apple in only 2016, and since then chiefly increasing its investment, starting in 2017 when it nearly quadrupled its stake in the company. By 2022, his Berkshire Hathaway firm was already reported to have earned over $100 billion from holding Apple shares.

According to the Financial Times, however, Buffett's firm sold off 10 million Apple shares in the last three months of 2023. That represents around 1.1% of the company's total stake in Apple.

At the same time, Buffett also cut back on HP shares. Berkshire Hathaway added to what it holds in Occidental Petroleum and Chevron with the proceeds from the sales.

This leaves Buffett's firm with 5.9% of all Apple shares, and the Financial Times says this position was worth $174 billion at the end of 2023. During 2022, Buffett revealed that Berkshire Hathaway had spent just over $31 billion in buying Apple shares.

The Q3 2023 sell off is not the first time that Berkshire Hathaway has trimmed its stake. In Q3 2020, the firm sold 36 million shares, and then in Q4 2020, it sold some 6% of its stock.

However, the new Financial Times report also quotes Buffett has having said in 2021 that the recent sale of Apple shares was "probably a mistake."

Known also as the "Sage of Omaha," Buffett has described the iPhone as an "extraordinary product." He said it was so crucial to its users that "[if] they have to give up a second car or give up their iPhone, they'd give up their second car."

Buffett's annual letter to shareholders will be released on February 24.