Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A) Under Analyst Spotlight

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Feb 14 Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc was an aggressive buyer of stocks in last year's fourth quarter, disclosing significant increases in its stakes in Apple Inc and in the four biggest US airlines. But for buy-and-hold investors, Berkshire's big move into Apple - 57.4 million shares as of December 31, up from 15.2 million at the end of September - can be instructive nonetheless.

Today, as Apple's stock price hit a record high, crossing over $135 a share, that stake is worth more than $7.7 billion. It was reported by Berkshire that it invested $2.1 billion in each of these namely American Airlines Group Inc., United Continental Holdings Inc., Southwest Airlines Co., and Delta Air Lines Inc. The firm also added a position in Kinder Morgan (KMI), buying 20 million shares.

Warren Buffett is ultra-bullish on Apple Inc. It's made all the harder by the fact that changes to Berkshire's holdings aren't revealed to the public until weeks or even months after the fact in quarterly SEC filings.

The increase in stake in Apple appears to be timed well.

Cupertino-based Apple's stock has soared more than 16 percent this year and climbed to an all-time record this week.

Buffett started building a position in the stock a year ago when the market turned bearish on it due to sluggish iPhone sales and declining revenue.

Major Berkshire investments such as Wells Fargo & Co (WFC), The Coca-Cola Co (KO) and IBM are Buffett's ideas, but the 86-year-old has given more responsibility to Todd Combs and Ted Weschler in recent years.

Buffett told talk show host Charlie Rose in an interview last month that it was "in large part" his decision to dive back into airlines. One rationale could be that the size of Berkshire's equity portfolio limits the investable universe for the firm, and that with a market cap of more than $700 billion, Berkshire's stake is less than 1% of the total shares outstanding.

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