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Warren Buffet cashes out of TSMC, which splashes cash on fabs

Legendary investor appears to have made many millions in under 90 days

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway sold more than 86 percent of its stake in Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) a mere three months after purchasing $4.1 billion worth of the stock, according to a Tuesday regulatory filing.

With more than 50 million shares now sold, the Omaha-based entity retains now around 8.3 million – worth $618 million.

At the time of the purchase in mid-November, TSMC traded at around $72 per share. In February, it traded at around $96. It's unclear exactly when Buffet sold, but he looks to have made hundreds of millions in profit in just one quarter – a handy win.

Buffett and Co. don't typically turn over stocks in a hurry, preferring shares with long term growth and revenue prospects.

TSMC's value trended upward throughout Berkshire Hathaway's ownership of the shares. The company reported higher than expected revenue in January for its Q4 but a less optimistic forecast for 2023. The chip-maker's CFO said he expected "business to be further impacted by continued end market demand softness, and customers' further inventory adjustment."

The day following Berkshire Hathaway's massive sale of stock, shares opened 3.3 percent down.

The company didn't only offload shares of TSMC on Tuesday. It also shed its stakes in other businesses like Activision Blizzard, while purchasing an additional 20.8 million in Apple, whose shares have been on the rise.

And on Tuesday, TSMC made some announcements of its own. At a time when tech giants are laying off staff by the thousands, TSMC's board of directors passed resolutions to distribute employee bonuses totalling $4 billion – including performance bonuses to the tune of $2.6 billion.

The board also approved plans to plow an additional $3.5 billion into its Arizona fab sites and almost $7 billion into capital appropriations for other expenses, including fab systems. ®

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