Berk­shire an­nounces $4.6 bln in earn­ings

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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