Warren 'Mr Moneybags' Buffett offloads huge chunk of IBM investment

Is the Oracle of Omaha cutting his losses?

By Kat Hall

Posted in Business, 16th November 2017 16:31 GMT

Legendary investor Warren Buffett appears to be cutting his losses on his IBM investment, slashing his shares by one-third in the last quarter.

Going against his own received wisdom of not buying stakes in companies he doesn't understand, Buffett revealed in 2011 that he had amassed a 5.5 per cent share in IBM during that year.

However, during the last quarter, Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway offloaded one-third of its shares, according to its latest regulatory filing.

As of the latest November filing, Berkshire owned 37 million shares of IBM, worth about $5.5bn (£4.1bn), down from 54.1 million shares worth $8.32bn filed the previous quarter.

Berkshire Hathaway has slowly being shedding its IBM stake this year. Back in March it owned 64 million shares, but now appears to be offloading them at a sharper rate.

At the start of 2011, IBM stock opened at around $187 per share, today they are worth $148 – down roughly 20 per cent since Buffett first made his investment.

But the "Oracle of Omaha" is not the only one disillusioned with the business, which is in its 22nd consecutive quarter of decline.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that IBM's own pension fund had shed most of its shares. The fund's February 2017 SEC filing records it as holding 82,802 shares, and by May it had reduced that holding to 12,451 shares.

On the back of the Buffett divestment, IBM's shares dipped 1.1 per cent to $147.19 before bouncing back 0.9 per cent to $148.3

Buffett is a notable for his frugal habits despite having a personal wealth of $80bn. He has pledged to give away 99 per cent of his fortune to philanthropic causes, primarily via the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. ®

Sign up to our NewsletterGet IT in your inbox daily

18 Comments

More from The Register

Oracle tells tales about Google data slurps to Australian regulator

At an inquiry into news and ads, of all things. Is Big Red playing a deeper game?

Microsoft, IBM settle case over disputed diversity boss

McIntyre going to Redmond as non-compete case wraps up

Happy as Larry: Why Oracle won the Google Java Android case

Comment Get a licence or build something new. It's really that simple

We should pass laws to make Google's life hard! Oh no, sorry, did we say that out loud? asks IBM

Big Blue is all for rules cracking down on ads, social media

Java-aaaargh! Google faces $9bn copyright bill after Oracle scores 'fair use' court appeal win

You thought this was over? You thought wrong, laughs Larry

AWS cloud cash share: Bigger than Microsoft, IBM, Google combined

Cloud democratising IT? Nah, it's shared by even fewer players

US cops go all Minority Report: Google told to cough up info on anyone near a crime scene

Police cyber-hunt reveals massive gap in legal protections

Data shepherd Rubrik herds Microsoft, Oracle users towards its Alta

Now talks to Nutanix AHV, Microsoft Hyper-V and Oracle RMAN

Consistency is key to Oracle and Microsoft's hybrid cloud clout

Analysis How can the other players up their game on and off-premises?

Microsoft, Oracle sued: Tech duo accused of trampling DB patents

The University of Tennessee's royalty collection arm wants its pound of flesh