Buffett’s Apple Soars to Year-to-Date High


Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock soared 3.18% Wednesday, reaching a fresh high closing price for the year at $223.59 per share the day following its annual launch event.

The share price rise also pushes the iPhone maker’s market cap up to $1 trillion, making it second-highest valued company behind only Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT), which has a $1.035 trillion market cap. The two are the only trillion-dollar companies in the U.S. on Wednesday, beating Amazon.com Inc., the next largest with a $903.06 billion market cap.

Apple’s buoyant price reflects investor response to the company’s revealing of its three new iPhones, an updated iPad and Apple watch. The Cupertino, California-based tech giant priced its base iPhone 11 at $699, aiming to attract more buyers after starting its previous iteration, the iPhone X, at $999. The trio is set to go on pre-sale Sept. 13.

CEO Tim Cook also announced its streaming service, Apple TV+, priced below competitors like Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) at $4.99 per month. Its start-up date is Nov. 1. Apple is releasing the gadgets and service with a strategy aimed to boost sales.

“We note that Apple is offering Apple TV+ free for a year with the purchase of an Apple device to help stimulate demand for its trifecta of smartphones that will be available to order this Friday and ship on September 20 with the base iPhone costing $699 which is $50 cheaper than we were expecting and a clear indicator Apple is laser focused on sparking further demand in the all-important China region,” Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives wrote in a note Tuesday.

Apple’s rise regains ground lost since the stock’s plunge in the fourth quarter and brings it close to its all-time high around $228 reached last August.

The resurgence is good news for investors like Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio), who has almost 24% of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A)(NYSE:BRK.B)’s behemoth portfolio in the company. At the end of the second quarter, the stake was valued around $49.4 billion, almost twice the size of his second-biggest position, Bank of America (NYSE:BAC).

Buffett bought no shares of the company in the first two quarter of the year, but noted in his annual shareholder meeting in May that he was unfazed by issues facing the company, such as regulatory challenges and antitrust suits.

“All the things you’ve mentioned, obviously we know about it, and we’ve got a whole bunch of other variables that we crank into it,” Buffett said. “And we like the fact that it’s our largest holding.”

Thirty-five investors GuruFocus tracks held shares of Apple in the second quarter. Twenty of them reduced their holdings, while nine of them bought shares.

See Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio)’s portfolio here.

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This article first appeared on GuruFocus.



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