May 30, 2024

Elon Musk wants Warren Buffett to go all in on Tesla stock after the legendary Wall Street investor sold another 115 million shares of Apple.

Berkshire Hathaway’s holdings in Apple were valued at $135.4 billion for the first quarter of 2024, a 22% drop from $174.3 billion as of Dec. 31, 2023, according to regulatory filings. It marks the second quarter in a row that Berkshire has dumped some of the iPhone maker’s shares.

Despite selling off a not-so-insignificant amount of shares, the conglomerate still owns roughly 790 million Apple shares. During a question-and-answer session Saturday during Berkshire’s annual shareholder conference, Buffett said it’s “extremely likely” that Apple remains the conglomerate’s largest common stock holding.

“Unless something really extraordinary happens, we will own Apple, and American Express, and Coca-Cola when Greg takes over this place,” Buffett told investors Saturday, referring to Greg Abel, his handpicked successor.

On Sunday, an X user asked Buffett to sell all of Berkshire’s Apple stock and reinvest that cash into Tesla, which has recently — somewhat — bounced back from a brutal few months. Musk replied to the user on the social media platform he owns, writing that “it’s an obvious move” for the Oracle of Omaha to take a position in Tesla.

Tesla stock is worth $181 per share as of early Monday morning after gaining almost 1% in pre-market trading. Apple stock is worth $183 per share and slightly down in pre-market trading Monday.

During Saturday’s conference in Omaha, Nebraska, Buffett also discussed Tesla’s claims about self-driving vehicles. GEICO auto insurance has been owned by Berkshire for decades and raked in $10.2 billion in revenue last quarter.

However, if Musk’s boasts that autonomous vehicles — and their features — can reduce accidents by 50% compared to human drivers can be believed, that could change.

“If accidents get reduced 50% its going to be good for society, and it’s going to be bad for insurance companies’ volume,” Buffett said. “But good for society is what we’re looking for.”

Berkshire’s head of insurance operations, Ajit Jain, was a bit more skeptical.

“Tesla has been toying with the idea of writing insurance directly or indirectly, and so far it hasn’t really been much of a success,” he said Saturday. “Time will tell, but I think automation just shifts a lot of the expense from the operator to the equipment provider.”

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