Business

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway does a rapid U-turn on Oracle

Posted February 15, 2019 7:57 a.m. EST

— Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has sold its entire $2 billion stake in Oracle after holding the investment for just one quarter.

A regulatory filing by Berkshire Hathaway on Thursday revealed that it sold over 41 million shares in the software company before the end of 2018. The stake was worth over $2 billion when first disclosed in November.

It's not clear whether the Oracle investment was made by Buffett or his portfolio managers, Todd Combs and Ted Weschler. Berkshire Hathaway typically holds its investments over much longer periods of time.

Shares in Oracle were down nearly 3% premarket.

Buffett's legendary investment company has also trimmed its stake in Apple. Berkshire Hathaway owned 249.6 million shares in the iPhone maker as of December 31, a reduction of 1% from the previous quarter.

The disposals coincided with a dramatic sell-off in tech stocks at the end of last year. Shares in Oracle declined 13% during the fourth quarter; Apple stock dropped 30% over the same period.

Apple warned investors on January 3 that an economic slowdown in China had damaged iPhone sales during the final three months of the year.

Comments from Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger on Thursday indicate the company's value investing strategy has not changed.

"I don't know why Apple stock is going up or down," he told investors. "I know enough about it so I admire the place, but I don't know enough to have any big opinions on why it's going up or down."

"Part of our secret is we don't attempt to know a lot of things," added Munger, who was speaking at the annual meeting of publishing company Daily Journal.