Warren Buffett buys stake in Apple

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NEW YORK– Is Warren Buffett calling a bottom in Apple’s stock price?

Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate run by Buffett, disclosed in a regulatory filing Monday that it purchased more than 9.8 million shares in Apple during the first quarter. It marks Berkshire’s first investment in Apple.

Berkshire acquired its position at an average price of about $109 a share.

But the value of that investment, originally worth around $1.1 billion, has already dropped significantly. Investors have been worried about slowing demand for iPhones after Apple reported disappointing earnings last month.

Apple’s stock price has since fallen to just above $90, meaning that Berkshire’s stake in Apple is now worth about $888 million.

Shares of Apple are down 14% so far in 2016, making it — along with Intel and Goldman Sachs — one of the worst stocks in the Dow this year.

Still, shares of Apple, which hit a new 52-week low on Thursday, rose more than 2% in premarket trading Monday on the news of Berkshire’s stake.

The Apple purchase is the second big tech investment by Berkshire, which has been steadily adding to its stake in IBM during the past few years.

Berkshire is also backing a takeover bid for the core assets of struggling Internet company Yahoo.

By Paul R. La Monica