‘Apple should buy back shares’

San Francisco, May 6: A day after multinational conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway acquired another 75 million shares of Apple, its CEO Warren Buffett said the iPhone maker should spend more cash buying its own shares. “They are not going to find $50 billion or $100 billion acquisitions that they can make at remotely a sensible price,” ReCode quoted Buffett as saying at the company’s annual meeting held at Omaha city in the US state of Nebraska. It is a better idea than spending that money on other companies which have the disadvantage of not being Apple, he added.
Apple posted a healthy revenue of $61.1 billion and net quarterly profit of $13.8 billion globally for its second quarter for fiscal 2018, defying global reports of a weakened demand for its iPhones. Following this, Berkshire Hathaway acquired more shares and now owns a large slug of Apple stock and has 5 per cent stake in the company.
At the end of the first quarter of 2018, Berkshire owned $40.7 billion of Apple’s shares — up from $28.2 billion at the end of 2017, The New York Times reported. He also said he likes Apple’s plan to spend $100 billion buying its own shares. “I’m delighted to see them repurchasing shares. We own 5 per cent of it. With the passage of time, we may own 6 or 7 per cent because they repurchase shares,” he was quoted as saying.
On having never invested in Microsoft, Buffett said that “in the earlier years, the answer is stupidity”. He stayed away from investing “because of the inference” that could be drawn. On e-commerce firm Amazon, he said: “The truth is that I’ve watched Amazon from the start and I think what (Amazon CEO) Jeff Bezos has done is something close to a miracle. The problem is if I think something will be a miracle, I tend not to bet on it.”  (IANS)