Meet the 2015 War­ren Buf­fett and Berk­shire Hathaway stocks

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Berk­shire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) has made its quar­terly fil­ing with the Se­cu­ri­ties & Ex­change Com­mis­sion for its hold­ings as of De­cem­ber 31, 2014. For all prac­ti­cal pur­poses, this fil­ing is a fresh rep­re­sen­ta­tion of War­ren Buf­fett’s 2015 stock hold­ings — with many big changes!

Well over half of Buf­fett’s and Berk­shire Hathaway’s to­tal eq­uity hold­ings are still con­cen­trated in just four stocks: Wells Fargo & Co., IBM, Coca-Cola Co. and Amer­i­can Ex­press Co. An­other is­sue to con­sider is that some of the in­vest­ments in key com­pa­nies are no longer held in public stocks. Berk­shire Hathaway in­vested $3 bln in 2009 into pre­ferred shares of Dow Chem­i­cal Co., and $5 bln for pre­ferred shares and war­rants in Bank of Amer­ica in 2011.

Key changes seen for 2015 were in com­mon shares of Deere & Co. due to an amended fil­ing, while Cono­coPhillips was elim­i­nated. Ex­press Scripts Hold­ing Co. and Exxon Mo­bil also were both elim­i­nated. Restau­rant Brands In­ter­na­tional was listed as a new stake.

Amer­i­can Ex­press Co. was again roughly the same num­ber at more than 151 mln shares, static for years.

Coca-Cola was yet again the same stake of 400 mln shares.

IBM was higher again at 76.971 mln shares, against 70.478 mln shares last quar­ter and 70.173 mln shares pre­vi­ously.

Wells Fargo & Co. was the again same stake again at 463.458 mln shares. Buf­fett used to add to the stake ev­ery quar­ter but his stake has reached a peak af­ter years of grow­ing.

The re­main­ing stocks in the full list of War­ren Buf­fett and Berk­shire Hathaway hold­ings as of De­cem­ber 31, 2014, are as fol­lows:

Bank of New York Mel­lon Corp., lower at 22.012 mln shares from 23.377 mln last quar­ter. This used to be static at 24.6 mln shares.

Char­ter Com­mu­ni­ca­tions



at 6.198 mln shares ver­sus 4.95 mln shares pre­vi­ously. This was a new stake in 2014.

DaVita Inc. was a higher stake at 38.565 mln, up from 37.621 mln shares at the end of Septem­ber. Buf­fett has en­tered into a stand­still agree­ment not to buy more than 25% of the com­pany, af­ter al­ready hav­ing in­creased the stake in prior quar­ters.

Deere & Co. was elim­i­nated pre­vi­ously, but is a new hold­ing of 17.096 mln shares. An amended fil­ing from Septem­ber clar­i­fied that it was pre­vi­ously less than 8 mln shares.

DirecTV was higher at 31.353 mln shares, af­ter hav­ing been 30 mln.

Gen­eral Elec­tric Corp. was the same stake of 10.585 mln shares, but this was raised ear­lier in 2014 and had been tele­graphed be­fore be­cause of the war­rants.

Gen­eral Mo­tors was a larger stake again at 41 mln shares. This was 40 mln shares pre­vi­ously, and it had been raised in 2014.

Gra­ham Hold­ings Co. is the re­mains of Wash­ing­ton Post and was the same stake at 107,575 shares. This is down from prior re­ports of 1.727 mln shares.

Lib­erty Global Plc was listed as 10.816 mln shares, slightly higher in the A Shares by about 415,000 shares, but there is the same 7.346 mln of the Class C.

MasterCard was a larger stake at 5.399 mln shares, ver­sus 4,715,400 shares be­fore, and up from 4,050,000 shares be­fore that.

Na­tional Oil­well Varco was a lower stake at 5.258 mln. This had been 6.382 mln shares be­fore and was down from 7.302 mln shares in June.

Phillips 66 was slightly in­creased to 6.567 mln shares, af­ter hav­ing been shrunk to 6,202,400 shares be­fore. This stake used to be above 27 mln shares.

Pre­ci­sion Cast­parts Corp. was a larger stake at 2.853 mln shares, up from 2.08 mln shares.

Proc­ter & Gam­ble Co. re­mained the same stake as be­fore, de­spite the Du­ra­cell buy­out. This was the same po­si­tion at 52.8 mln shares in the for­mal re­port, but that had been low­ered

War­ren Buf­fett may be known as the ‘Sage of Omaha’, but he ap­pears to have been stumped by the seis­mic shifts in the UK gro­cery mar­ket. When the leg­endary US in­vestor sold 245 mln Tesco shares in Oc­to­ber he in­stantly swal­lowed a £422 mln ($678 mln) loss.

But since then the shares, un­der new chief ex­ec­u­tive Dave Lewis – known as Dras­tic Dave for his no-non­sense man­age­ment style – surged by the end of Jan­uary to 235.25p, al­ready above the 229p last Septem­ber be­fore the shock an­nounce­ment of a black hole in Tesco’s ac­counts that even­tu­ally ran to £263 mln.

The rise in the stock since Oc­to­ber means that Buf­fett has missed out on a £133 mln fil­lip for his lack of faith in Lewis’s abil­ity for rapid ac­tion and the sup­port given by other in­vestors bet­ting on a turn­around.

in 2012 from a prior peak of 96.3 mln shares.

Sun­cor En­ergy Inc. was a larger stake at 22.35 mln shares. This was up from 18.477 mln shares be­fore, and up from 16.458 mln shares prior to that. Sun­cor was just 13 mln shares in March of 2014.

Twenty-First Cen­tury Fox Inc. was a new stake at 4.747 mln shares.

Torch­mark Corp. was the same stake if you ac­count for a three-for-two stock split in July. This is now listed 6.35 mln, ver­sus roughly 4.2 mln shares be­fore the split.

U.S. Ban­corp was left the same at 80.09 mln shares. We had seen this as one of the bank stakes that was al­ways raised, but Buf­fett has now left it static again.

Vi­a­com Inc. was higher again at 8.63 mln shares, up from 7.7 mln shares pre­vi­ously. The stake had been raised in 2014 and in 2013.

Visa Inc. was a larger stake 2.509 mln shares, ver­sus 2,146,290 pre­vi­ously. This has been raised from 1.555 mln shares last March.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. was the same stake as be­fore at 60.385 mln shares, but this had been raised in re­cent quar­ters, de­spite a pro­jected loss for in­vestors in 2015.

Other stakes that re­main un­changed in the port­fo­lio in­clude: Chicago Bridge & Iron Co., Costco Whole­sale Corp., Gold­man Sachs, John­son & John­son, Kraft Foods, Lee En­ter­prises, Lib­erty Me­dia Corp., M&T Bank Corp., Me­dia Gen­eral Inc., Mon­delez In­ter­na­tional Inc., Moody’s Corp., NOW Inc., Sanofi, United Par­cel Ser­vice, USG Corp., VeriSign Inc., Verisk An­a­lyt­ics Inc., Ver­i­zon Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Inc. and WABCO Hold­ing.

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