You probably don't have to be an investment genius to know that buying stock in Apple was always a good idea, but it's still striking to look at how good an investment such a decision has turned out to be for investment genius Warren Buffett and his investment firm Berkshire Hathaway. After recently reaching new highs on the stock market, Buffett's stake in the company has nearly tripled to more than $100 billion, compared to the original $35 billion he spent on it.
In Buffett's 2019 letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, Buffett stated that he'd spent roughly $35 billion on a total of 250 million shares in Apple at various points between 2016 and 2018. He's let go of about five million shares since then, leaving his current stake at a very lucrative 245 million shares.
How lucrative? Berkshire Hathaway's stake in Apple earns a reported $800 million a year in dividends, and it's only gotten more valuable in recent months. Apple stock has grown some 42 percent this year, and Buffett's 5.7 percent stake in the company has concurrently climbed $30 billion just in the last several months.
Back in February of this year, Buffett spoke glowingly about his Apple holdings in an interview on CNBC:
"I don't think of Apple as a stock. I think of it as our third business…It's probably the best business I know in the world. And that is a bigger commitment that we have in any business except insurance and the railroad."
That wasn't always how Buffett felt about Apple. Back in 2011 he said the company wasn't predictable enough for him to invest in a major way, but obviously he changed his mind a few years later – and is reaping the benefits now.
Apple's recent good fortune can be attributed to a recent favorable quarterly earnings report that gave the company's stock price a 10 percent spike, bringing it to $425 per share, a new high for Apple stock.