Wall Street doesn’t appear too hot on tech giant Apple these days.
Continue Reading Below
In the first quarter of 2018, investors reduced their stakes in the Silicon Valley-based iPhone maker by 153 million shares, the biggest decrease since at least 2008, according to regulatory filing data compiled by Bloomberg. During the first three months of the year, that was the biggest share reduction among any Fortune 500 company.
Investors have been trimming their positions in Apple throughout three of the past four quarters, Bloomberg reported.
Bucking that trend, however, is legendary investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, which upped its stake to 239.6 million shares during the first quarter. The firm said it values its holding in the tech giant at $40 billion.
Buffett said during an interview with FOX Business’ Liz Claman that the iPhone is “maybe the greatest consumer product ever developed.”
However, Wall Street has been concerned about iPhone sales, which have cooled throughout recent quarters on weakened demand in both the U.S. and China. During its most recent quarter, the tech giant reported iPhone sales of 52.2 million, falling short of analysts’ expectations of 52.3 million.
Among the factors believed to be deterring some customers from purchasing new iPhones is cost. The average price-point for iPhones rose 11% to $728, driven by the release last year of the $999 iPhone X. In China in particular, customers have increasingly opted for lower cost options, from domestic manufacturers like Xiaomi and Huawei.
Nevertheless, the company is inching closer to boasting the first $1 trillion market value.
Shares of Apple have climbed more than 11% so far this year.