Berkshire Hathaway adds Apple and Teva shares, sells IBM stake

Phillips 66 to buy back $3.3 billion of its shares from Berkshire Hathaway

The Oracle of Omaha still has a touch for stocks. Berkshire resumed buying shares later.

Further, the company also became Apple's largest common stock investor, having upped its holdings in the United States tech giant by 31.24mn shares to a total 165.33mn shares compared to the 134.09mn recorded on 31 December, according to data from MarketWatch.

"The intimidation, bullying and misery facing the healthcare industry has created bargains", said Bill Smead, who oversees $2.3 billion, including $130 million in Berkshire stock, at Smead Capital Management Inc in Seattle.

The company added 2 million shares to its S. Bancorp stake and another 10.6 million shares to its Bank of New York Mellon investment.

Berkshire also increased its Monsanto investment by 31% and now owns 11.7 million shares. The Israeli drugmaker took on a mountain of loans in 2016 to bulk up its copycat medicines business as profit margins declined in the US, the world's most lucrative market for pharmaceutical companies.

Well, IBM rallied a bit during the fourth quarter of 2017, and apparently that was enough to send Berkshire heading for the exits.

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The investment in the world's largest generic drugmaker follows just a couple of weeks after Berkshire Hathaway teamed up with Amazon and J.P. Morgan to form an independent healthcare company Buffett said would "check the rise in health costs". Further, Somerset Group Llc reported stake worth 12.70% of its portfolio. Berkshire owns 9.3% of the bank and Buffett also owns shares in his personal portfolio, and he has mentioned previously that some selling would be necessary.

Berkshire unloaded 10 million shares of General Motors, which reduced its stake by 16%.

Last year, Buffet noted that he was more confident in Apple's future than he was in IBM's, which is likely a major driver for his recent trades.

"I don't value IBM the same way that I did six years ago when I started buying", he told CNBC.

Berkshire also almost completed its year-long exit from International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) selling more than 94 percent of what was left from an investment Mr. Buffett has admitted was not among his best.

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