An attendee stands for a photograph with a cardboard cutout of Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., during a shareholders shopping day ahead of the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, U.S. (Photographer: David Williams/Bloomberg)

Buffett's Apple Losses Make His Track Record in Tech Even Worse

(Bloomberg) -- Warren Buffett has a questionable track record investing in technology companies. It’s only getting worse with Apple Inc., which had already lost more than $350 billion in market value since October, diving Wednesday.

After famously avoiding tech stocks for decades, saying he didn’t understand them well enough, the billionaire’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. stashed more than $10 billion into International Business Machines Corp. starting in 2011. He completely exited the stake about a year ago, admitting his analysis had been flawed -- a rare black mark in a career spent building one of world’s biggest piles of wealth.

Now, Buffett’s bet on Apple -- which amounted to about 252 million shares at the end of September, or more than 5 percent of the total -- looks shakier. The stock fell late Wednesday after Apple slashed its revenue forecast, blaming an economic slowdown in China and saying fewer people upgraded their iPhones than anticipated.

Apple dropped to as low as $144.51 in extended trading, trimming the value of Berkshire’s stake by about $3 billion. To be sure, Buffett bought most of the shares at lower prices, so he may still be ahead on the overall investment.

When describing companies he was looking to acquire, Buffett once wrote that he prefers “simple businesses,” adding, "If there’s lots of technology, we won’t understand it.”

Buffett’s assistant didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.