Berkshire Hathaway, the investment vehicle of legendary investor Warren Buffett, has sold its entire holding of 41 million shares in Oracle, according to filings with US regulators – and bought a stake in Red Hat worth $733 million.
Berkshire Hathaway – which holds assets [pdf] worth a massive $736 billion – also shed 2.89 million shares of Apple, reducing its position in the iPhone maker by about one percent, according to filings reviewed by Marketwatch.
The move left Oracle shares sliding approximately two percent on Friday. Oracle faces a rapidly growing threat to its core database business from hyperscale cloud providers like AWS – with which it has traded increasingly pointed barbs – and Microsoft Azure.
Buffett has openly wrung his hands over his failure to invest early in cloud giants Amazon and Google, last year telling shareholders at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder meeting: “I made the wrong decisions on Google and Amazon.”
“I think what Jeff Bezos has done is something close to a miracle…”
Buffett’s Oracle stake was worth approximately $2.13 billion. Berkshire Hathaway had only held it for a quarter, during which Oracle’s shares rose four percent.
Red Hat is a major player in the “behind-the-scenes” construction of cloud services. It offers a rapidly growing range of tools that make it easy for companies to build and orchestrate cloud-like platforms in their own data centers, or manage applications that run on multiple different cloud computing services; crucial in an era of “hybrid cloud”.
Oracle saw both hardware and services revenues fall five percent in the last quarter it reported, with cloud licence and on-premises licence revenues down nine percent.
Quarterly filings show key names that attracted new interest (an investment larger than $105 million) from the hedge fund community included Adobe (three adds), Align Technology (three adds), Micron Technology (three adds), Starbucks (four buys) and Wellcare (three buys), according to Bloomberg analysis.