Buffett would not buy Google, Apple; prefers IBM

OMAHA, Neb. Sat May 5, 2012 2:56pm EDT

OMAHA, Neb. May 5 (Reuters) - Warren Buffett said on Saturday he would not buy shares of technology giants Apple Inc or Google Inc but would not sell them short, and said International Business Machines Corp is a better investment for his company Berkshire Hathaway Inc .

"I would not be at all surprised to see them be worth a lot more money 10 years from now but I would not buy either one of them," Buffett said about Apple and Google at Berkshire's annual shareholder meeting in Omaha, Nebraska. "I sure as hell wouldn't short them either."

In contrast, Berkshire at year end owned $11.75 billion of IBM stock, its second-largest stock holding. "The chances of being way wrong in IBM are probably less, at least for us, than the chances of being way wrong in Google or Apple," Buffett said.

Buffett's revelation in November that he bought IBM stock surprised many investors, given his usual aversion to technology stocks. Even in Berkshire's annual report, which lists criteria for acquisitions, Buffett said he prefers "simple businesses (if there's lots of technology, we won't understand it)."

Buffett controls most of Berkshire's investment portfolio. He has hired two portfolio managers, Todd Combs and Ted Weschler, to handle some of Berkshire's investments.

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