The public found out on February 14 that Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B 170.22) increased its stake in Apple (AAPL 136.66) in a big way during the fourth quarter. That disclosure came in a 13F filing, which showed Berkshire's position in Apple increased from approximately 15.23 million shares to approximately 57.36 million shares.
What the public found out today in a CNBC interview is that Berkshire Hathaway increased its stake even more since December 31, which was the cutoff date for the 13F filing. It wasn't a small increase either. According to Mr. Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway now owns approximately 133 million shares.
Mr. Buffett conceded that he had not bought Apple's stock since the company reported its earnings on January 31. What that means, then, is that Berkshire Hathaway more than doubled its position in Apple in the month of January alone.
Investors will recall that AAPL rose 4.8% in January, climbing from 115.82 on December 31 to 121.35 on January 31, versus a 1.8% increase for the S&P 500. That period included 20 trading sessions and AAPL was up in 12 of those sessions.
The strong start to the year for the largest company by market capitalization was a major source of support for the major averages, and AAPL has remained a mainstay of support.
AAPL is up 18% year-to-date, which is an astounding move for a company its size. Shares of AAPL are trading 0.2% higher in pre-market action following the latest disclosure from Mr. Buffett.
If wondering why the reaction to the latest news has been relatively subdued, it probably relates to three factors in particular: (1) Mr. Buffett also said he hasn't bought any more shares since the earnings report (2) the purchases made by Berkshire Hathaway are already "in" the stock price and (3) there are underlying concerns about APPL being overextended on a short-term basis, trading 24% above its 200-day moving average.