Buffett Admits to Selling 'Large Amount' of Shares in IBM

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Telling CNBC, Buffett, who is IBM's largest shareholder through his company Berkshire Hathaway BRK.A, said he has sold roughly a third of his 81 million shares in the company, and he starting selling once the company's price rose above $180 a share.

In addition, several other key analysts have also reduced their price target for IBM shares. The disclosure led IBM to tumble 3.8 per cent to US$153.05 (S$214.06) in premarket trading Friday.

Armonk, N.Y. -based IBM said last month that its revenue fell for the 20th consecutive quarter in the first three months of the year. "I've revalued it somewhat downward", Buffett told CNBC in an interview.

Buffett added that "IBM is a big strong company, but they've got big strong competitors too". Big Blue won't be the last to feel the sting.

Forrest did say she reexamined her position in the company once she heard of the Oracle of Omaha's move.

At this point in time, I don't recommend buying IBM. The shares have lagged behind both technology peers and the S&P 500 Index in 2017. A day earlier, Buffett had already pricked up ears by announcing on CNBC that Berkshire had cut its IBM stake by almost a third.

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Buffett said in February that boosting disclosure could put many Berkshire businesses at a disadvantage, and that "it's the growth of the Berkshire forest that counts". The massive event will be held in the 18,975-seat CenturyLink Center in downtown Omaha and include a six-hour Q&A with Buffett and Berkshire Vice Chairman Charlie Munger.

Reversing course in 2011, Buffett maintained that IBM met his principles: "It's something we expect to own indefinitely".

Berkshire and Buffett's assistant did not immediately respond to telephone and email requests for comment. The technology firm's shares closed at $159.05 in NY on 4 May.

He cited the competition facing Wal-Mart from online rivals like Amazon.com, while pointing in 2012 to disappointing results at P&G.

In the underwriting portion of Berkshire's insurance business, the company posted a loss of $267 million, compared with profit of $213 million a year earlier as claim payouts and related expenses climbed 16% at auto insurer Geico. The odds of success are especially long at Berkshire if Buffett opposes a measure because he controls about one-third of the vote and he's revered by many shareholders. "But we have made no commitment that Berkshire will hold any of its marketable securities forever".

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