Ma­jor changes in War­ren Buf­fett and Berk­shire Hath­away stocks for 2016

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

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

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