IBM Set to Drop $5 Billion in Value After Warren Buffett Sheds a Third of His Stake

May 5, 2017, 1:06 PM UTC

Warren Buffett shedding a third of his stake in IBM was a sign for some investors that IBM’s best days may be over.

Shares of the the tech giant dropped about 3% in pre-market trading Friday, putting IBM (IBM) on track to shed $4.8 billion in market capitalization by the market’s open. After that trim, the company’s market cap would be about $144.5 billion.

That comes after the Buffett revealed Thursday on CNBC that Berkshire Hathaway had sold roughly a third of its stake in the tech company during the first and second quarter of 2017. At the end of 2016, Berkshire Hathaway held about 81 million shares of the company, valued at $13.5 billion at the time. That suggests the company sold about 27 million shares that are now valued at about $4.2 billion.

For many investors, Buffett’s investment in IBM came as a surprise. The investing titan had eschewed investments in the tech space despite the industry’s boom, saying the sector was difficult to understand. It wasn’t until early 2011 that he first bought IBM shares, and since then, it has become one of his most questioned positions.

Buffett’s decision to dump a third of his stake comes ahead of Berkshire Hathaway’s much anticipated annual shareholder’s meeting Saturday.

Shares of Berkshire’s other major tech investment, Apple (AAPL), on the other hand, has remained relatively flat in premarket trading.

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