What is Warren Buffett Buying and Selling?
Although Warren Buffett recently held Berkshire Hathaway’s (NYSE:BRKA) annual shareholder meeting, where he answered questions and provided insight to a crowd of over 30,000, investors now have a better picture of what stock moves the Oracle made in the first quarter.
Late Wednesday, many institutional investment managers filed their mandatory 13-F with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The filing is a quarterly report of equity holdings required by managers that oversee more than $100 million in qualifying assets, and must be filed within 45 days of the end of each quarter.
The 13-F provides a peek at what hedge funds did in the previous quarter, but investors should keep in mind that hedging and trading strategies of each fund are still unknown.
Berkshire Hathaway reported new positions in Chicago Bridge & Iron (NYSE:CBI), an energy infrastructure company, and Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA), a premium cable network. As revealed earlier this month, the firm also increased its stake in DaVita HealthCare Partners (NYSE:DVA).
Considering the sizes of these positions, they are more likely to be the work of Buffett’s managers, Ted Weschler and Todd Combs. Berkshire’s position in Chicago Bridge & Iron was worth $404.2 million at the end of the first quarter, while Starz’s position totaled a modest $124.5 million. DaVita HealthCare stood at $1.8 billion as of the end of March.
Berkshire also made several other notable moves in smaller stakes. The position in DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) increased from 34 million shares in the fourth quarter to 37.3 million shares in the first quarter. Its stake in National Oilwell Varco (NYSE:NOV) surged 41 percent from 5.3 million shares to 7.5 million shares, while Berkshire’s holdings in VeriSign (NASDAQ:VRSN) more than doubled to 8.2 million shares, worth $386.4 million.
Interestingly, Berkshire completely sold out of Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE:ADM) and General Dynamics (NYSE:GD). It also trimmed its position in The Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE:BK) from 19.6 million shares to 18.9 million shares, and Mondelez International (NASDAQ:MDLZ) from 12.8 million shares to 7.1 million shares.
Buffett likely did the buying in some of Berkshire’s long-time favorites. The stake in Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) grew 4.2 percent from 439.9 million shares to 458.2 million shares, worth $16.9 billion. Meanwhile, the stake in Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) increased 5.1 percent to 49.2 million shares ($3.7 billion), compared to 47 million shares in the fourth quarter.
Berkshire’s stake in U.S. Bank (NYSE:USB) and International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM) also increased slightly.
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