By Nick Baker and Katherine Chiglinsky
Warren Buffett has a questionable track record investing in technology companies. Its only getting worse with Apple Inc., which had already lost more than $350 billion in market value since October, diving Wednesday.
After famously avoiding tech stocks for decades, saying he didnt understand them well enough, the billionaires Berkshire Hathaway Inc. stashed more than $10 billion into International Business Machines Corp. starting in 2011. He completely exited the stake about a year ago, admitting his analysis had been flawed — a rare black mark in a career spent building one of worlds biggest piles of wealth.
Now, Buffetts bet on Apple — which amounted to about 252 million shares at the end of September, or more than 5 percent of the total — looks shakier. The stock fell late Wednesday after Apple slashed its revenue forecast, blaming an economic slowdown in China and saying fewer people upgraded their iPhones than anticipated.
Apple dropped to as low as $144.51 in extended trading, trimming the value of Berkshires stake by about $3 billion. To be sure, Buffett bought most of the shares at lower prices, so he may still be ahead on the overall investment.
When describing companies he was looking to acquire, Buffett once wrote that he prefers “simple businesses,” adding, "If theres lots of technology, we wont understand it.”
Buffetts assistant didnt immediately return a message seeking comment.