Warren Buffett’s company sold off 5.5 million of its HP Inc. shares this week, trimming a stake that it established just last year, but even after the sales, Berkshire Hathaway still owns nearly 12% of the printer and computer maker’s stock.
HP stock dropped nearly 2% to sell for $27.80 Thursday in the first trading session after the stock sales were disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Many investors follow Buffett’s moves closely because of his remarkably successful track record over the years.
Even after this week’s sales, Berkshire still holds more than 115 million HP shares. But it likely won’t be clear for some time whether Buffett is just trimming the position or whether he has soured on the stock. The billionaire investor never comments on these transactions that he’s only required to disclose because Berkshire owns such a big chunk of the company.
The HP investment raised some eyebrows last spring because throughout his career Buffett has been famously reluctant to invest in technology companies because he said it was too hard to pick the long-term winners.
But Buffett has found ways to get more comfortable in the sector in recent years, and Berkshire has accumulated a massive stake in Apple that is the single-largest investment in the conglomerate’s $350 billion portfolio. Buffett has said he looks at Apple more like a consumer products company with extremely loyal customers, and he can understand that kind of business.
The HP investment was part of a $51 billion buying spree at the start of last year as Buffett found bargains galore in the market. HP was one of the biggest investments along with big stakes in Occidental Petroleum and Chevron in the more traditional oil production industry.
In addition to stock investments, the Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire owns dozens of companies including Geico and several other major insurers, BNSF railroad, a collection of large utilities, and an assortment of manufacturing and retail companies including well-known brands like Helzberg Diamonds, Dairy Queen and See’s Candy. AP