Investors listen to Warren Buffett because of his long-term ability to beat the S&P 500. Between 1965 and 2021, a 56-year timeframe, his Berkshire Hathaway portfolio has logged average returns of 20.1%.

Berkshire has also beat the indexes in 2022, with Berkshire stock falling 6% since January versus almost 20% for the S&P 500. Given this performance, Apple (AAPL 0.86%) and Chevron (CVX -1.81%) are two Warren Buffett investments that deserve particular attention.


Considering Berkshire's massive position in Apple, one might struggle to discuss Buffett's current success without mentioning the tech giant. At more than 915 million shares, Apple claims more than 41% of Berkshire's entire portfolio, a position that appears to counter a wise diversification strategy. Moreover, with over $179 billion in liquidity supporting its balance sheet, Apple offers a measure of safety that lessens the risk of that massive position.

Until recently, Apple had benefited from a 5G upgrade cycle in the product making up most of its revenue, the iPhone. While iPhone demand has become sluggish, according to a recent Bloomberg report, its iOS operating system now claims more users than its main competitor, Alphabet's Android, according to Counterpoint Research.

Additionally, slowing iPhone demand has highlighted the success of Apple's fastest-growing segment, Apple Services. Apple Services encompasses products such as the iCloud and other subscription-based services like Apple TV and Apple Music. It also diversifies Apple's revenue base away from its equipment, something that Buffett probably likes in a struggling economy.

That diversity undoubtedly helped boost the company's revenue in these tougher times. In the first nine months of fiscal 2022, Apple reported over $304 billion in revenue, 8% more than in the same period in fiscal 2021. Indeed, this significantly lags the 33% sales growth in fiscal 2021, but revenue received a significant boost during the pandemic as many locked-down users turned to its products.

Apple earned a net income of $79 billion in the first three quarters of 2022, a gain of 7% versus the same time frame in 2021. Although it limited the cost of sales growth to just 4%, the 17% surge in operating expenses weighed on Apple's earnings.

Admittedly, conditions might not improve as soon as analysts forecast single-digit revenue growth through next year. However, Apple's stock performance over the last year could arguably reassure investors as the S&P 500 dropped during that time. Additionally, while not the cheapest tech stock, Apple's P/E ratio of 24 has fallen from 32 last December. Given this stability and the success of its products, one can see why Buffett considers Apple a FAANG stock worth buying.


Buffett's increasing interest in Chevron is likely a sign of the times. Indeed, renewables have received increased attention in recent years.

Nonetheless, oil and natural gas, the two types of energy that make up nearly all of Chevron's revenue, still account for 68% of U.S. energy consumption, according to the Energy Information Administration. This bodes well for oil giants like Chevron as the industry grapples with increased production limits compared with two years ago and, recently, falling prices.

Still, with the lower oil prices, OPEC+ aims to cut production. This could at least stop the recent decline in prices and again take them higher, boosting the bottom line of Chevron. Also, even if prices continue to fall, Chevron's downstream segments can mitigate constant volatility in the upstream segment. Such factors make it understandable that Buffett keeps 8% of Berkshire's portfolio in this stock.

Chevron reported more than $123 billion in revenue in the first two quarters of 2022. This increased 77% compared with the same time frame in 2021, though many markets had locked down in early 2021.

That factor also led to a 300% year-over-year increase in net income in the first half of 2022, taking it to $18 billion. During that time, the growth rate in costs and deductions dramatically lagged the revenue increases.

And with that income, Chevron generated nearly $16.7 billion in free cash flow, well below its dividend cost of $5.5 billion. This bodes well for the safety of Chevron's 3.8% dividend yield and makes it unlikely the 35-year track record of payout hikes will end anytime soon.

Moreover, despite the approximate 45% increase in the stock price, Chevron only sells for 11 times its earnings. This is approximately the same as its rival, ExxonMobil, which barely held on to its Dividend Aristocrat status last year. Given the favorable conditions for oil prices, it should not surprise anyone that Buffett has continued to add to his stake in this oil stock.