Apple's slide gives Buffett big buying opportunity he wanted

Warren Buffett, the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, may have lost billions during Apple’s sudden plunge on Wednesday, but don’t be surprised if he’s gearing up to buy more shares of the iPhone maker.

In May, the billionaire investor told shareholders at the annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska that he “very much approved” of Apple repurchasing shares.

“From our standpoint,” he said, “We would love to see Apple go down in price.”

Buffett is the second-largest holder of Apple shares with a stake of 240 million shares, or about 5 percent, that was once worth about $56 billion. That leaves Vanguard as the only institutional investor with a larger ownership stake in Apple, according to Morningstar.

But on Wednesday, after Apple CEO Tim Cook warned that quarterly revenue for the critical holiday season sales would be lower than originally expected, shares of the Cupertino-based company plummeted. Cook blamed the decline in sales largely on a nearly year-long trade war between the U.S. and China that’s rattled both countries’ economies.

The Oracle of Omaha previously touted the iPhone as “maybe the greatest consumer product ever developed” during a May interview with Liz Claman on FOX Business. He said at the time that one of Berkshire’s managers talked to him about investing more in Apple, but that he’d already developed his own perspective on the company.

“I’ve been familiar with the company,” he said, noting that he knew Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Buffett is known for his loyalty to the brands that he invests in, including his affinity for Coca-Cola and his confidence in Wells Fargo (which has been plagued by several scandals in the past year).