Traders, analysts and Buffett-watchers were amazed two weeks ago when in its 13F filing, Berkshire Hathaway reported that it had nearly quadrupled its Apple stake from 15.2 million shares as of Sept 30 to 57.4 million shares on December, making it a Top 10 holder in the tech company. Then, moments ago, the surprises continued when speaking to CNBC's Becky Quick, the Berkshire Hathaway Chairman said that he more than doubled his holdings in Apple yet again between the start of 2017 and the tech company's most recent earnings report.
At this point, Buffett owns $17 billion worth of the tech giant's stock he told CNBC making him a Top 5 holders of the stock, sandwiched between CapRe in 6th spot and Fidelity in 4th.
The purchases that Buffett revealed on Monday give Berkshire Hathaway about 2.5% of the outstanding Apple shares. It also made Apple one of Buffett's company's largest holdings, second only to Coca-Cola.
The investor said that he upped his stake because of the consumer-retaining power of Apple. "Apple strikes me as having quite a sticky product, and an enormously useful product to people that use it," Buffett told CNBC.
The Berkshire Hathaway CEO said that a book by famed investor Philip Fisher called "Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits" inspired him to research how consumers feel about Apple products. "He talks about something called the 'scuttlebutt method,' which made a big impression on me at the time, and I used it a lot," Buffett said. "[It's] essentially going out and finding out as much as you can about how people feel about the products that they [use.]"
Yet while the results were favorable enough for Buffett to greatly up his stake in Apple, he said that he does not personally own an iPhone.
Apple stock was creeping higher in early hours trading on Monday, up 0.4 percent at $137.20 a share.