Berkshire announces $4.6 bln in earnings
24/7 Wall St. recently looked at the changes in Buffett’s portfolio in the last reported quarter, in an earlier article last May entitled ‘Major Changes Seen in Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway Stock Holdings — Including Apple’.
Goldman 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) remains the same tiny stake in what is just the remains of Washington Post breakup. It was 107,575 shares.
The total public stock holdings from the full 13F-HR filing do not include the full dollars held in preferred shares. This would otherwise include preferred shares of Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE: DOW) in 2009 and Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) from back in 2011. It also no longer includes Precision Castparts, now that Buffett’s acquisition of that company has been completed.
American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) has been listed as the same 151.6 mln shares for years now, and it was worth $9.31 bln at the end of March. Buffett has now held on to American Express shares so long he probably worries about the capital gains tax he would pay versus how much Amex shares have fallen from their highs.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was listed as a NEW POSITION, with 9,811,747 shares worth some $1.069 bln at the end of the first quarter. Apple’s stock price has fallen since, and it is worth noting that a $1 bln stake in Apple is larger than most of the portfolio managers place for their first purchase. Still, this was a stake taken by one of Buffett’s portfolio managers rather than Buffett himself.
Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) was the same stake of 400 mln shares, and the value was listed as $18.55 bln. This has remained static for many years and 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) was again a larger stake as Buffett himself keeps averaging his cost basis lower. The latest stake is 81.232 mln shares, worth some $12.3 bln on March 31. Despite a handy bounce from the lows, IBM has remained a serious thorn in Mr. Buffett’s side – particularly as this stake was his own choosing.
This stake has been raised and raised, but it had been kept static at 81.03 mln shares as of December 31. This IBM 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 the same stake of 479.704 mln shares, versus the end of 2015. That stake was grown in the fourth quarter from 470.29 mln shares at the end of September. Buffett has grown his stake through time, but at a slower rate in the past year or more.
Increasingly 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. The value of the Wells Fargo stake at the end of March was $23.2 bln. History has shown that Buffett would like to just keep buying and buying this stock.
Other key holdings, which are nearly 40 more top stocks, have been tallied below in detail.
Kraft Heinz Co. (NYSE: KHC) was listed as 325,634,818 shares, identical to the stake at the end of 2015. This stake is from the 3 Capital deal and was worth some $25.58 bln at the end of March, but it has been suggested it may be coming down ahead after June.
Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX) the same 75.55 mln shares in March, but Buffett’s stake is now over 10%, which makes it harder to add or sell shares without regulatory filings. The new value was $6.5 bln. This stake previously had been classified as an elimination in 2015 and then was shown after Buffett got the stake classified with the SEC as confidential.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) was no longer listed as a stake held by Berkshire Hathaway, after having been diminished previously. It really tied back to a stake of DirecTV before the AT&T-DirecTV merger with a stake of 59.32 mln shares initially. As of the end of 2015, AT&T’s stake was down by 12.74 mln shares to 46.577 mln shares.
Kinder Morgan Inc. (NYSE: KMI) was the same stake of 26,533,525 that it was at the end of 2015. This one bounced handily and was selected by one of Buffett’s portfolio managers rather than on his own. This was an admitted stance from Mr. Buffett.
Axalta Coating Systems Ltd. (NYSE: AXTA) was the same stake of 23.324 mln shares, 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 slightly larger stake at 10.326 mln shares, up from 10.281 mln at the end of 2015. It previously had been 8.51 mln shares, and having been viewed even lower prior to that. Charter was made a new stake in 2014.
Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) was the same stake at 4,333,363 shares.
DaVita Inc. (NYSE: DVA) was a larger stake of 20.827 mln shares. This is up from 38.565 mln shares in 2015. This DaVita stake was raised on and off in prior quarters, but Buffett already had entered into a standstill agreement not to buy more than 25% of the company.
Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) was a slightly larger stake of 23.28 mln shares. This was listed as 22.884 mln shares at the end of 2015, after some 5.83 mln shares had been added at the end of last year. 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 was 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 previously had been raised from 41 mln shares.