The bigger they are, the more they attract each other. That’s how gravity works in the physical world. It’s why the moon revolves around the Earth and affects our ocean tides.
Gravity sometimes seems to apply to the investing world, too. Big stocks often attract the biggest investors. That’s certainly the case with Apple (AAPL 0.66%).
Billionaires are loading up on the tech stock. Should you?
Attracting deep-pocketed investors
The net worth of contrarian investor David Tepper currently stands at close to $20.6 billion. His Appaloosa Management is one of the most successful hedge funds ever. At the beginning of 2023, Tepper didn’t own a single share of Apple.
That changed in a big way in the second quarter. Tepper’s hedge fund bought 480,000 shares of Apple valued at more than $93.1 million at the end of Q2.
Paul Tudor Jones’ Tudor Investments already have a sizable position in Apple coming into this year. However, Jones (who’s worth more than $8 billion) definitely wanted more. He increased his stake in Apple by 90% in Q2.
Jim Simons could be called the king of the quants. He’s worth $30.7 billion thanks to his longtime success at Renaissance Technologies. The hedge fund Simon founded increased its position in Apple by more than 514x during Q2.
Of course, we can’t leave out Warren Buffett. No, the Oracle of Omaha didn’t add to Berkshire Hathaway‘s stake in Apple during Q2. However, Berkshire did pick up 2.3% more Apple shares in the first quarter of 2023. Most importantly, Buffett isn’t selling Apple at all. The tech stock remains the top holding in Berkshire’s portfolio by far.
Why buy Apple stock?
Should you buy Apple just because these well-known investors have loaded up on the stock? No. However, when four multibillionaires with different investing styles all like the same stock, it should at minimum prompt retail investors to take a hard look at it.
Apple’s iPhone ecosystem remains the best in the business. The company’s installed base of active devices hit a record high in the quarter ending July 1, in every geographical segment. Apple’s services revenue set an all-time high during the quarter.
The tech giant continues to share its success with investors. In the latest quarter, Apple returned more than $24 billion to shareholders in the form of dividends and stock buybacks.
Steve Jobs, the co-founder and former CEO of Apple who passed away in 2011, famously repeated the same line at Apple’s product showcases: “One more thing…” I think Apple’s ongoing “one more thing” just might be the best reason to buy the stock.
Vision Pro could be Apple’s next big thing. In the company’s latest quarterly update, CEO Tim Cook called the mixed-reality headset “the most advanced personal electronic device ever created.”
But I wouldn’t be surprised if artificial intelligence (AI) is Apple’s next game changer. The company hasn’t been in the AI limelight as some have this year. However, Apple is reportedly developing its own Ajax generative AI model that could change that dynamic.
The arguments against Apple
There are several arguments against buying Apple stock, though. For one thing, sales of its iPhone, iPad, and Mac products are declining. Many on Wall Street project slower growth over the next five years than Apple delivered over the previous five years.
Meanwhile, Apple’s valuation is sky-high. Its shares currently trade at nearly 27 times expected earnings. That’s not an encouraging sign with the company’s lower growth outlook.
Then there’s the uncertainty in China, which recently banned government officials from using iPhones. Should the country take further steps against Apple, it would be very problematic. The company generated nearly 20% of its total revenue in China last year.
Siding with the billionaires
My personal view is that Apple stock remains a buy, albeit not as compelling of one as it’s been in the past. I think that the stock could pull back further over the short term because of the aforementioned issues. However, Apple should be a good long-term pick.
I don’t expect the China situation to worsen significantly. Apple has new products on the way that could reverse its sales decline. And the company remains an innovation engine. There are other stocks that could deliver greater gains than Apple, but put me on the side of the billionaires with this stock.
Keith Speights has positions in Apple and Berkshire Hathaway. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Apple and Berkshire Hathaway. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.