Warren Buffet's Berkshire took US$1.07 billion stake in Apple in Q1

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway disclosed it has invested more than a billion dollars in Apple, creating renewed interest in the iPhone maker.
Billionaire Warren Buffett, CEO and chairman of investment company Berkshire Hathaway, speaking at the Economic Club of Washington, on June 5, 2012.
Billionaire Warren Buffett, CEO and chairman of investment company Berkshire Hathaway, speaking at the Economic Club of Washington, on June 5, 2012. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway disclosed a stake in Apple, betting that the technology company will rebound after a slump driven by a slowdown in iPhone sales.

Berkshire held 9.81 million Apple shares as of March 31, according to a regulatory filing Monday from the billionaire's company. The holding was valued at US$1.07 billion (S$1.46 billion) at the end of the first quarter.

Apple last month reported its first quarterly drop in revenue in 13 years, stoking concerns that the company's best days have passed. The company's share slide since the middle of last year may have created an opportunity for Berkshire, even though Buffett typically avoids investments in technology companies.

"Apple at the current valuation makes a ton of sense; it's a consumer-product company more than a tech company," Jeff Matthews, an author of Berkshire-related books, said about the new holding. "The company has a great financial model, a great brand name and a cheap stock." Apple rose 2.4 per cent to US$92.71 at 10:02 a.m. in New York.

The Cupertino, California-based company had slumped 14 per cent this year through last Friday.