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Home / Business / Berkshire trims Apple stake, adds Suncor and Red Hat, Oracle concludes

Berkshire trims Apple stake, adds Suncor and Red Hat, Oracle concludes



By Jonathan Stempel

(Reuters) – Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. said it has trimmed its stake in the iPhone manufacturer Apple Inc, although none of the sellers were Buffett and added positions in Canada's Suncor Energy Inc and software company Red Hat Inc.

Berkshire also seemed to have thrown a $ 2.13 billion stake in the database company Oracle Corp after first revealing it in November. It's rare for Berkshire, who owns some stocks for decades, to waste an investment so fast.

The changes were published in a Thursday provision for a detailed description of Berkshire's listed US stock-exchange portfolio as of December 31, which fell $ 38 billion in the quarter to $ 183.1 billion in broad equity stock sales.

A recent change in accounting rules means that the decline is likely to penalize Berkshire's reported net revenues, but not operating profit, as Omaha, Nebraska-based companies report fourth quarter and Earnings at the end of the year, expected February 23.

Thursday's filing includes investments from Buffett and portfolio managers Todd Combs and Ted Weschler, but doesn't say who bought and sold what.

Berkshire said in the archives that its Apple stock fell to 249.6 million shares in the quarter from $ 252.5 million, and reduced its reported stake to less than $ 40 billion when Apple's share price fell 30 percent.

However, Buffett had nothing to do with the seller.

"One of the leaders other than Warren had a position in Apple and sold some of it to make a non-related purchase," Buffetts assistant Debbie Bosanek said in an email. "None of the shares under the Warren direction have ever been sold."

Investors monitor Berkshire's quarterly applications for signs of value Buffett, Combs and Weschler.

Share prices often move higher or lower when Berkshire reveals new bets,

Suncor shares rose 4 percent after Berkshire's repaid share, which it last owned in the third quarter of 2016, and owns 10.76 million shares worth $ 300, 9 million.

Stocks in Red Hat rose 0.3 percent after Berkshire

Oracle shares fell 1.3 percent.

Suncor, Red Hat, Oracle and Berkshire did not immediately respond to requests for comments.

Berkshire has more than 90 businesses in insurance, energy, food and retail, industry, rail and other sectors, and often buys stocks when buying whole companies, looking too expensive. The last major acquisition was in January 2016.

Most other changes in Berkshire's equity portfolio were relatively smaller, but it increased its stake in JPMorgan Chase & Co 41 percent to 50.1 million shares, worth $ 4.9 billion.

Combs is a director of JPMorgan, working with Berkshire and Amazon.com Inc to create a new company aimed at reducing health care costs to employees.

Berkshire also confirmed its new $ 261 million stake in StoneCo Ltd, a Brazilian credit card processor that went public in October.

(Reporting Jonathan Stempel in New York, editing Sonya Hepinstall and James Dalgleish)


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