Major changes in Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway stocks for 2016
Warren Buffett has released the official equity holdings of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) as of December 31, 2016. That makes this the official Buffett stocks for 2016, but the stakes are already different from the latest 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
24/7 Wall St. has followed the various changes from Warren Buffett’s top stock holdings for many years now. We have also added detail on each of these changes, as well as added color on each of the pertinent holdings or added commentary on the value of those holdings through time.
Mr. Buffett’s total equity holdings are heavily concentrated in just a few top positions. That was previously concentrated among just four top holdings, but now the top stocks are actually in five or six Buffett stocks. His top holdings are listed as follows: credit card giant American Express Company (NYSE: AXP); banking giant Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC); IT-services giant International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE: IBM); beverage giant The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO); food-giant The Kraft Heinz Company (NYSE: KHC); and refining giant Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX).
Because of all of the changes that have been made in recent weeks and months, the reality is that the Buffett stocks for 2016 are going to look massively different from the Buffett stocks at the start of 2015 and at the start of 2014. This was listed as a whopping $131.855 bln in public equities alone which are listed in the United States.
The total public stock holdings from the full 13F-HR filing do not show the full dollars held in preferred shares — like its $3 bln invested in 2009 into preferred shares of Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE: DOW) and like the $5 bln for Preferred shares and warrants in Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) from back in 2011. Buffett also recently completed the $37 bln acquisition of Precision Castparts Corp. (NYSE: PCP), making that position from the 13F filing no longer relevant.
American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) has remained the same 151.6 mln shares for years now. Buffett has held these shares so long he probably worries about the capital gains tax he would pay more he worries about how much AmEx shares have fallen from their highs. Still, American Express has suffered handily so far in 2016.
The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) was the same number of about 400 mln shares that it has been for years and years. This stake dates back to when he started buying Coca-Cola in the 1980s. Buffett’s cost basis must be nearing zero if you include the dividends.
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) had been grown and grown, but the IBM stake was kept static at 81.03 mln shares as of December 31. Maybe Buffett got tired of seeing this one go down lower and lower. This stake was about 79.5 mln shares as of the end of last June and the end of 2014 position was 76.971 mln IBM shares.
Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) was listed as 479.7 mln shares at the end of 2015, which is now higher than the stake of 470.29 mln shares at the end of September. Buffett has grown his stake through time, but at a slower rate in the last year or more. At closer and closer to being a 10% holder, Buffett may be at the point that it is harder to grow that stake without more regulatory and more governance issues – particularly with a massive stock buyback.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) had previously been listed as a new stake for Berkshire Hathaway, with a stake of 59.32 mln shares. The reality is that this was tied to the prior DirecTV stake. As of the end of 2015, AT&T’s stake A SMALLER STAKE by 12.74 mln shares to 46.577 mln shares.
Kinder Morgan Inc. (NYSE: KMI) was listed as a NEW STAKE, making Buffett interested more in the infrastructure side. The Kinder Morgan Stake was listed as 26.533 mln shares as of December 31. Maybe Jefferies seeing 6 reasons oil could rise in 2016 was not as far off as it seemed when it was reported.
The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ: KHC) was listed as 325,634,818 shares. This stake is actually the same as the prior quarter, but it is a whopping $23.69 bln as of the end of 2015.
Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX) was already a larger stake than what was represented at the end of 2015. This was last seen as a total of 75.55 mln shares as of late last week despite the new 13F filing showing a lower number. Based upon current prices, that is more than $5.5 bln and it is more than 10% of the Phillips 66 shares outstanding. This stake had previously been classified as an elimination in 2015 and then was shown after Warren Buffett got the stake classified with the SEC as confidential.
The full list of additional Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway stock holdings as of December 31, 2015 is as follows:
Axalta Coating Systems Ltd. (NYSE: AXTA) was listed as a LARGER STAKE of 23.324 mln shares at the end of 2015 – a tad larger than the quarter before after having been listed as a new position of 20 mln shares.
Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (NYSE: BK) was 20.112 mln, roughly the same as the prior quarter but versus 24.6 mln shares in the past.
Charter Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR) was a larger stake at 10.281 mln shares — after being 8.51 mln shares, and having been viewed even lower prior to that. Charter was made a new stake in 2014.
Chicago Bridge & Iron Co. (NYSE: CBI) was ELIMINATED after having been made a smaller position in prior reports (1.983 mln shares in September) – down from 9.33 mln shares last June and 10.701 mln shares last March.
Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) was the same stake at 4,333,363 shares.
DaVita Inc. (NYSE: DVA) was the same stake at 38.565 mln shares. This DaVita stake had been raised on and off in prior quarters, but Buffett had already entered into a standstill agreement not to buy more than 25% of the company.
Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) was listed as 22.884 mln shares, a LARGER STAKE by more than 5.8 mln shares. This is interesting because it had been lowered to 17.052 mln shares previously and 17.31 mln shares that had been there in June and previously.
General Electric Corp. (NYSE: GE) was the same stake of 10.585 mln shares. This stake had been raised in 2014 and had been telegraphed before because of the warrants.
General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) was a the same stake of 50 mln shares, but this had previously been raised. from 41 mln shares.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) was the same stake of 10.959 mln shares, but this had been as high as 12.631 mln shares prior to the end of 2015.
Graham Holdings Co. (NYSE: GHC) is what is just the remains of Washington Post and was the same stake at 107,575 shares.
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) was the same tiny stake of only 327,100 shares, but Buffett watchers know this is a leftover bit from a much larger stake in years past.
Lee Enterprises Inc. (NYSE: LEE) was the same tiny stake of only 88,863 shares.
Liberty Media Corp. (NASDAQ: LMCA) and Liberty Global PLC (NASDAQ: LBTYA) are both again listed as Buffett and Berkshire Holdings. but these are counted as Class A and Class C shares so we will leave this stakes simplified just like that.
M&T Bank Corp. (NYSE: MTB) was the same position at 5.38 mln shares — same as always.
MasterCard Inc. (NYSE: MA) was the same size stake of 5,229,756 shares.
Media General Inc. (NYSE: MEG) was a the same sized stake at 3.471 mln shares at the end of 2015. Just keep in mind that this was down from what had been a static position of 4.64 mln shares.
Mondelez International Inc. (NASDAQ: MDLZ) is the same position again at 578,000 shares. This stake remains far lower than in the past.
Moody’s Corp. (NYSE: MCO) was the same position of 24.669 mln shares yet again, but this is lower than in years past.
NOW Inc. mln shares.
Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) has remained officially the same at almost 52.8 mln shares in the formal 13F report. We expected to be part of the Duracell swap, and P&G had also previously been lowered in 2012 after a peak of 96.3 mln shares.
Restaurant Brands International Inc. (NYSE: QSR) was the same stake at 8.438 mln shares but it was a new stake in late 2014. The reality is that this is much larger (see here):
On December 12, 2014, we acquired Class A 9% Cumulative Compounding Perpetual Preferred Shares of RBI having a stated value of $3 bln and common stock of RBI for an aggregate cost of $3 bln. RBI, domiciled in Canada, is the ultimate parent company of Burger King and Tim Hortons. As of the acquisition date, our combined investment in RBI possessed approximately 14.4% of the voting interests of RBI. The RBI Preferred is entitled to dividends on a cumulative basis of 9% per annum plus an additional amount that is intended to produce an after-tax yield to Berkshire as if the dividends were paid by a U.S.-based company.
Sanofi (NYSE: SNY) was the same position at 3.905 mln shares.
Suncor Energy Inc. (NYSE: SU) was kept static at 30 mln shares, but this used to be a smaller stake (22.35 mln shares last June). Suncor’s stake had been increased in late 2014 and it had grown each quarter from the 13 mln shares in March of 2014.
Torchmark Corp. mln shares.
Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (NASDAQ: FOXA) was the same stake of 8.951 mln shares at the end of 2015. Its stake had previously been raised from 6.228 mln shares in prior reports and versus 4.747 mln shares at the end of 2014.
U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) was the same position of 85.06 mln shares at the end of September, but that had been raised slightly in June versus the 83.77 mln shares at the end of March. That has grown from 80.09 mln shares at the end of 2014.
USG Corp. (NYSE: USG) was the same stake at just over 39 mln shares, but this had been raised in prior to the end of 2014.
United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE: UPS) was the same tiny position at 59,400 shares. The UPS stake is way down from 2012.
VeriSign Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN) was the same stake at 12.985 mln shares, but this one had previously grown in 2014.
Verisk Analytics Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSK) was the same position at 1,563,434 shares, but that is lower than in prior quarters.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) was the same stake at 15 mln shares at the end of December, but that had been raised a year earlier.
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) was the same stake of 9.885 mln shares, but the Visa stake had been rising throughout 2014.
WABCO Holdings Inc. (NYSE: WBC) is SLIGHTLY LOWER again at 3.331 mln shares – down from 3.559 mln shares at the end of September and down from 3.78 mln shares previously. At one point the stake was over 4 mln shares.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) was the same sized stake of 56.185 mln shares at the end of 2015 as it was in September, but this had previously been lowered from 60.385 mln shares at the end of June and versus having been raised prior to 2015.
(NYSE: DNOW) was the same stake of 1.825
(NYSE: TMK) the same stake at 6.35