Berkshire Hathaway Confirms Warren Buffett's Apple, IBM Moves

By Nicole Friedman Features Dow Jones Newswires

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. sharply increased its holding of Apple Inc. and sold some of its stake in International Business Machines Corp. in the first quarter, according to a new securities filing.

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Berkshire Chairman Warren Buffett had previously announced these changes in media appearances.

The Monday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission confirmed that Berkshire more than doubled its Apple holdings in the first quarter to 129 million Apple shares, worth $18.6 billion, as of March 31.

While Mr. Buffett is famously shy about investing in technology companies, he has said that Apple sells consumer products that he can understand.

Berkshire also sold 21% of its IBM stake in the first quarter. Mr. Buffett told CNBC earlier this month that Berkshire had sold about one-third of its IBM holdings, suggesting that the rest of the sale took place in the second quarter.

Berkshire first bought IBM in 2011. Mr. Buffett said this month that he was wrong in his evaluation of the company.

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Berkshire also adjusted its airline holdings in the quarter, adding to its shares of American Airlines Group Inc. and Southwest Airlines Co. while reducing its stake in Delta Air Lines Inc. and leaving its holding of United Continental Holdings Inc. unchanged.

Berkshire bought stakes in all four airlines in 2016, a surprise vote of confidence from Mr. Buffett, who had long criticized the airline industry as a money-loser for investors. Berkshire's total stake in the four airlines stood at $9.2 billion as of March 31, from $9.3 billion at year-end.

Berkshire also sold off its stake in 21st Century Fox Inc., the filing showed.

Write to Nicole Friedman at nicole.friedman@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 15, 2017 18:05 ET (22:05 GMT)