Major Portfolio Changes for Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway


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By John C. Ogg, 247WallSt,

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) released its public equity holdings as of June 30, 2014. Warren Buffett’s different portfolio holdings have not been changing much of late, but it turns out that many of the stakes were changed – some changes were substantial. There was one issue which also stood out handily ahead of this in the quarterly filing where Warren Buffett and team counted some $116.9 billion in equity securities in the investments as of June 30, 2014. This was versus $116.16 billion as of March 31 and versus $115.46 billion as of December 31.

We had also known going into this report that approximately 58% of the total value of the Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-B) equity holdings was concentrated in just four stocks – Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) at $25.4 billion; International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE: IBM) at $12.7 billion; and The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) at $16.9 billion; and American Express Company (NYSE: AXP) at $14.4 billion. That concentration was 56% in the prior quarterly report.

Another reminder needs to be made that some of the investments in key companies are no longer held in public shares. Berkshire Hathaway invested $3 billion when times were tough in 2009 into preferred shares of Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE: DOW).

One of the newer stakes as of the end of March was Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), and Buffett raised his stake in the telecom giant by the end of June. Buffett has not been a big telecom player before. There were many more changes made than we expected, although the total dollar changes were not so great. The $116.9 billion in June listed counts other stakes because this 13F filing shows the total value of these stocks as being $107.58 billion.

The full list of Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway stock holdings as of June, 2014, is as follows:

American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) was again that same number of roughly 151.6 million shares, same as last quarter — and the same as always. Still, that is $14.4 billion.

Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (NYSE: BK) was again the same position at 24.6 million shares.

Charter Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR) was listed as a NEW POSITION of some 2.309 million shares.

Chicago Bridge & Iron Co. (NYSE: CBI) was a LARGER POSITION up at 10.701 million shares, up from 9.55 million shares in March and it had been raised in 2013.

Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) was right at 400 million shares, same before — and the same for years and years. This was listed as being $16.9 billion.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) was a LOWER POSITION YET AGAIN, down to 1,355,228 shares after having been 11.079 million shares in March, and lower than the 13.529 million shares at the end of 2013, and lower than the 24.1 million shares a year ago.

Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) was 4,333,363 shares, same as last quarter.

DaVita Inc. (NYSE: DVA) was the first time that this stake remained the same at 37.621 million shares. This had been raised in incremental amounts as follows in prior quarters: 36.46 million; 31.446 million; and so on. As a reminder, Buffett has entered into a standstill agreement not to buy more than 25% of the company after already having increased its in prior quarters.

Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) was the same last quarter at roughly 4 million shares.

DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV) was a LOWER STAKE AGAIN at 23.467 million shares, likely on the AT&T merger. This was previously 34.514 million shares and had been 36.514 million shares prior to that, and ultimately as high as 37.275 million shares last June.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) was the same stake of 41.129 million shares, but this had been raised before last quarter and was a new stake in 2013.

General Electric Corp. (NYSE: GE) was the same stake of 10.585 million shares, but this was raised in the prior quarter and had been telegraphed before because of the warrants.

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) was a LARGER STAKE at 32.96 million, up from 30 million shares.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) was the same stake of 12.631 million shares.

Graham Holdings Co. (NYSE: GHC) is the remains of Washington Post and was a LOWER STAKE at 107,575 shares versus the prior report of 1.727 million shares. This sale had been telegraphed.

International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) was LARGER STAKE YET AGAIN at 70.173 million shares, up from 68.355 million shares in March and up from first being added. This was $12.7 billion worth of shares.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) was the same tiny stake of only 327,100 shares, but this much lower than years past.

Kraft Foods Group Inc. (NASDAQ: KRFT) was the same size at only 192,666 shares, but this used to be much higher.

Lee Enterprises Inc. (NYSE: LEE) was the same size of only 88,863 shares, but a deal in 2013 may have given more leverage on the debt size.

Liberty Media Corp. (NASDAQ: LMCA) is a SMALLER STAKE at 4 million shares versus 5.3 million shares previously.

Liberty Global PLC (NASDAQ: LBTYA) appears to be a LARGER STAKE AGAIN at 17.213 million shares. This was 14.693 million shares in March and just under 3 million shares previously. Be advised that the special situation may have created this change.

M&T Bank Corp. (NYSE: MTB) was the same position at 5.38 million shares — same as always.

MasterCard Inc. (NYSE: MA) was the same 4,050,000 shares as before.

Media General Inc. (NYSE: MEG) was the same position of 4.64 million shares.

Mondelez International Inc. (NASDAQ: MDLZ) is the same position at 578,000 shares, but this remains far lower than in the past.

Moody’s Corp. (NYSE: MCO) was the same position of 24.669 million shares, but this is lower than before.

National Oilwell Varco Inc. (NYSE: NOV) appears to be a LOWER POSITION of 7.302 million shares, but this may be due to the next position of Now Inc. (NYSE: DNOW). This had been listed as 8.88 million shares previously and had been raised in 2013.

NOW Inc. (NYSE: DNOW) was a NEW POSITION of 1.825 million shares.

Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX) is SMALLER AGAIN at 6.495 million shares, down from 9.741 million shares in March and down from 27.16 million shares before that.

Precision Castparts Corp. (NYSE: PCP) was the same position at roughly 2 million shares.

Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) was the same position at 52.8 million shares, but that had been lowered in 2012 from a prior peak of 96.3 million shares.

Sanofi (NYSE: SNY) was the same position at 3.905 million shares.

Starz (NASDAQ: STRZA) was ELIMINATED ENTIRELY after having been lowered before.

Suncor Energy Inc. (NYSE: SU) was a LARGER STAKE at 16.458 million shares after having been 13 million shares in March.

Torchmark Corp. (NYSE: TMK) was the same stake at more than 4.2 million shares.

U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) was LARGER YET AGAIN at 80.09 million shares, up from 80.026 million last time and 79.3 million shares before that. This is a position that just keeps growing.

USG Corp. (NYSE: USG) was LARGER AGAIN at just over 39 million shares. This was 34.89 million shares before and had been 17.072 million shares before that.

United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE: UPS) was the same paltry position at 59,400 shares, but this is way down from 2012.

VeriSign Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN) was LARGER YET AGAIN at 12.985 million shares versus 11.685 million the prior quarter, and up from 10.96 million shares before.

Verisk Analytics Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSK) was the same position at 1,563,434 shares, but that is lower than prior quarters.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) is LARGER STAKE at 15 million shares, up after being a new position in March of 11,022,743 shares.

Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA) was the same position of 7.6 million or so shares, but that had been raised in 2013.

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) was a LARGER STAKE at 1,799,749 shares, up from 1.555 million shares the prior quarter.

WABCO Holdings Inc. (NYSE: WBC) is the same position at just over 4.076 million shares.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) was LARGER STAKE AGAIN at almost 58.8 million shares, up from 58.05 million shares last quarter and up from 49.48 million shares before that.

Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) was the same stake at 463.458 million shares, but this was the second quarter that Buffett did not raise this stake size in recent years. The Wells Fargo stake is a massive $25.4 billion.

By Jon C. Ogg

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