What’s a fair price for a share of Apple Inc.?
For Berkshire Hathaway Inc., it was $99.49. That’s what Warren Buffett’s company paid, on average, to accumulate its stake in the iPhone maker, according to a recent regulatory filing that gives fresh details on the investment.
The company purchased 9.81 million shares of Apple in the days through March 14 for about $976 million, Berkshire’s Geico unit said in a document for insurance regulators. A May filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission showed that Buffett’s company owned that number of shares as of March 31, without detailing the cost of the purchases or the month in which they were acquired.
The holding was initiated by one of Buffett’s investment managers, Todd Combs or Ted Weschler. Though the billionaire’s deputies may deviate from his well-known avoidance of technology stocks, they tend to follow his deeper ideas about investing, including buying stocks at prices where they believe there’s a “margin of safety” -- or a buffer against losses.
When Berkshire bought Apple, the shares had slumped amid a slowdown in iPhone sales. The rebound that Berkshire is counting on is yet to materialize, however. Shares fell 2.3 percent to $95.33 on Friday in New York.
Buffett didn’t respond to a message seeking comment.