Billionaire Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Strengthens Bullish Stance on Apple, Airlines; Other Top Q4 Moves

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As the deadline for submitting 13F filings for the end of the fourth quarter expired yesterday, billionaire Warren Buffett‘s Berkshire Hathaway revealed its 13F portfolio as of the end of 2016, allowing us to take a glance at the moves the legendary holding company made between October and December. Overall, a comparison between the latest filing and the previous one showed that Berkshire is bullish on the market. Out of 47 positions, Berkshire acquired three holdings during the fourth quarter and increased its stake in five other companies, with four positions having been raised substantially. On the other hand, the investor also cut two of its holdings and sold out of six positions. Last week, during an interview on CNBC, Buffett said that Berkshire bought around $12 billion worth of stocks, net, since the November election and the filing revealed a substantial part of the recent investments.

In this way, at the end of December, Berkshire had a 13F portfolio valued at $147.99 billion, up from $128.79 billion a quarter earlier. Since Warren Buffett and his team generally have a conservative approach towards investing and analyze stocks based on their performance over the long run, let’s take a closer look at some of the stocks in which Berkshire boosted its position in during the fourth quarter, as well as some companies added to the holding company’s 13F portfolio and holdings that were sold out.

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is one of Berkshire’s most recent and most profitable bets. During the fourth quarter, the fund boosted its stake by 42.13 million shares to 57.36 million shares worth $6.64 billion at the end of December. The move paid off as Apple’s stock has gained over 16% since the beginning of 2017, pricing Berkshire’s shares at $7.74 billion. Earlier this week, Apple’s stock hit a new all-time high as investors grow excited about the prospects of the next iPhone and the company’s strong financial results, which showed that the tech giant has returned to revenue growth.

Apple posted EPS of $3.36, topping estimates of $3.22, while revenue of $78.4 billion was higher than the expected $77.4 billion. The company also reported 78.3 million iPhones sold during the holiday quarter, up by 5% year-over-year and above estimates of 76 million units. Buffett’s fund added Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to its equity portfolio during the first quarter of 2016 and reports suggested that the decision was made by one of Buffett’s lieutenants, which are Todd Combs and Ted Weschler. Since the end of March 2016, the stock has advanced by 23%. Another investor bullish on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is billionaire Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management. On the other hand, billionaire Chase Coleman’s Tiger Global Management sold off all of its previously-held 3.61 million shares during the fourth quarter.

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On the next page we are going to take a closer look at Berkshire’s investments in the airline industry and some of its other interesting moves during the fourth quarter.

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