Why Warren Buffett is Taking a Bigger Bite of Apple Stock

Warren Buffett has increased his bet on Apple, despite concerns among many analysts that the iPhone and iPad maker’s best days are behind it.

Berkshire Hathaway, an investment conglomerate run by Buffett, who is the world’s fourth-richest man and arguably the world’s greatest investor, took its first bite of Apple in May this year. It picked up just over 9.81 million shares in the tech giant with a stake valued at US$1.07 billion.

Fast forward to 30 June and a regulatory filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) shows (as reported by Reuters) Berkshire owned roughly 15.23 million shares of Apple as of 30 June – a 55.2% increase from its original stake. Based on today’s share price of US$109.48, that makes Berkshire’s stake worth US$1.67 billion.

While it was reported that Berkshire’s senior investment managers Todd Combs and Ted Weschler had made the initial decision to invest in Apple, it is unclear whether they, or Buffett, made the decision to increase the company’s bet.

Indeed, Apple is a world-class brand which set the world on fire with its iPod, then its iPhone, and then its iPad. Although a number of analysts have expressed their doubts over the company’s ability to be as innovative in the future as it has been in the past, Apple is still a business that many investors would love to own shares in, including Australian investors.

Unfortunately, whether it be due to the difference in time zones, the associated currency risk or the additional paperwork that comes with investing in foreign shares, most Australian investors restrict themselves to the local share market. That means they can’t directly back businesses such as Apple.

While expanding your investing horizon to international shares could be a great move (for that reason, amongst others), there are still a number of high-quality technology businesses that investors can back right here in Australia.

XERO FPO NZX (ASX: XRO) is one such business. The company is revolutionising the accounting industry and could be set for solid gains over the coming years as it continues to roll out its cloud-based accounting platform.

Another company worth taking a closer look at is Catapult Group International Ltd (ASX: CAT), which provides the hardware and software used by professional sports teams around the world to enhance fitness development and monitor the risk of injuries.

Other companies worth looking at include Appen Ltd (ASX: APX) or perhaps Pro Medicus Limited (ASX: PME), which provides radiology IT software and services to hospitals and imaging centres. None of these companies are particularly cheap, but they are high-quality and appear to have plenty of room left to expand.

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The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of Apple and Berkshire Hathaway (B shares) and has the following options: long January 2018 $90 calls on Apple and short January 2018 $95 calls on Apple. Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman owns shares of Xero. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Xero. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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