Buffett has said he admires Bezos’ business skills, and his success creating both the online retailing powerhouse and its cloud computing business. He joined with Amazon and JPMorgan Chase to work on an insurance offering for the three companies’ employees that many believe could reshape the health insurance industry. He even joked he would get a blood infusion from Bezos if he could.
And he bemoaned the fact that Berkshire, which is notoriously slow to buy tech stocks, had not profited from its success.
“We missed it entirely, incidentally,” he told his investors at Berkshire’s annual meeting two years ago as he was detailing Bezos’ many successes. “We never owned a share of Amazon.”
In an interview earlier this month, Buffett mentioned that one of Berkshire Hathaway’s investment managers had taken a stake in Amazon, though he did not disclose the amount. In a filing late Wednesday, Berkshire revealed the stake: 483,300 shares, worth $904 million based on Wednesday’s closing price.
Despite the size of that stake, it represents a small sliver of Berkshire’s holdings, as well as less than 1% of Amazon’s shares outstanding.
Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA) shares have struggled this year. Shares are little changed, well behind the broader market. The S&P is up 13% so far this year, even with the recent battering shares took on trade war worries.
One of Berkshire’s best performing stocks is another tech powerhouse: Apple (AAPL), of which it owns 250 million shares. Apple shares are up 21% so far this year.
Buffett was also late buying a stake in Apple, first investing in it in 2016. Despite being late to the game, Apple shares have risen about 75% since his initial purchase, showing it can be better late than never.