Warren Buffett says Berkshire Hathaway has sold completely out of IBM

Key Points
  • Buffett says Berkshire has ended a difficult chapter in its investment in IBM while ramping up its stake in Apple.
  • When CNBC's Becky Quick asked Buffett if Berkshire sold all its IBM shares, he said, "The answer is almost certain, yes."
  • Buffett also reveals Berkshire bought 75 million shares of Apple during the first quarter, adding to its already huge position.
Warren Buffett weighs in on IBM and General Electric

Billionaire Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has ended a difficult chapter in its investment in IBM while ramping up its stake in Apple.

CNBC's Becky Quick, in an interview from Omaha that aired Friday, asked him if Berkshire owns any IBM shares.

He said, "No."

"I think we have zero," he said.

"The answer is almost certain, yes," on Berkshire owning no more IBM shares, he said.

Apple is in, IBM is out

As of the end of 2017, Berkshire had owned more than 2 million shares of IBM, after having sold down about 94.5 percent of its once-massive stake.

Berkshire revealed in 2011 it bought $10.7 billion worth of common stock in IBM, or 64 million shares at an average price of $170 per share.

Berkshire's transition out of IBM and into Apple marks a changing of the guard of sorts in tech stocks.

Buffett revealed to CNBC late Thursday that Berkshire bought 75 million more Apple shares in the first quarter, adding to its already huge stake of 165.3 million shares.

As of Thursday's closing price of $176.89 per share, Berkshire's Apple stake was worth about $42.5 billion. Berkshire is now the third largest Apple shareholder, behind Vanguard and BlackRock.

IBM and Apple were rivals in the 1980s, but the two companies have taken different paths over the ensuing decades, with IBM struggling with trends in enterprise technology and Apple becoming a dominant force in consumer electronics.

Buffett spoke to CNBC on Thursday evening from Omaha, Nebraska, where tens of thousands of Berkshire shareholders were gathering for Saturday's annual meeting.

— CNBC's Anita Balakrishnan contributed to this report.

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