Warren Buffett is arguably the most famous investor in the world and his investment moves are closely followed. Every quarter, the company he runs, Berkshire Hathaway, discloses its current holdings to shareholders.
Here are some of the changes Buffett and his two chief investment officers, Todd Combs and Ted Weschler, made during the fourth quarter, according to the latest regulatory filing 13F with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These changes were made ahead of a stock market pullback that occurred in January 2022, when the S&P 500 fell 5.3% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 9%. All holdings data is as of December 31, 2021.
Berkshire Hathaway Portfolio Holdings: Where Buffett & Co. Buy/Add
Nu Holdings (NU)
A new $1 billion position was established in Nu Holdings during the fourth quarter. Nu Holdings is a digital financial services platform that offers credit, debit cards, savings solutions and other personal finance services. It mainly operates in Brazil, Mexico and Colombia.
Activision Blizzard (ATVI)
Berkshire also established a new position in video game maker Activision Blizzard. Berkshire is likely to have already made a good profit on the $975 million stake, after Activision agreed to be acquired by Microsoft in a $75 billion deal. The stock ended 2021 at around $66 per share and recently traded at $81.50.
Liberty Sirius XM Series A (LSXMA) and Liberty Media Formula One (FWONK)
Berkshire also increased its stake in Liberty Sirius XM Series A by about 36%, to just over $1 billion, and established a new position in Liberty Media Formula One Series C, with about $134 million. Both follow stocks related to John Malone’s Liberty Media empire. Interests include stakes in SiriusXM, Live Nation Entertainment and Formula One.
Berkshire increased its position in oil company Chevron by about a third during the fourth quarter. The stake, which was first bought in the third quarter of 2020 and halved in the first quarter of 2021, was worth around $4.5 billion at the end of the quarter.
Berkshire Hathaway Portfolio Holdings: Where Buffett & Co.
Marsh and McLennan (MMC)
Berkshire reduced its stake in insurance brokerage Marsh & McLennan for the third straight quarter, cutting it by around 85% in the last quarter. The position was first established in the third quarter of 2020, but Berkshire sold a large portion of the position as the stock price rose.
AbbVie (ABBV), Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), Teva Pharmaceuticals (TEVA) and Royalty Pharma (RPRX)
Berkshire also continued to trim its stake in drugmakers AbbVie and Bristol-Myers Squibb. Both positions were reduced by more than 75% during the quarter. A position of over $400 million in Teva Pharmaceuticals was completely eliminated during the quarter. He also cut his stake in Royalty Pharma by more than a third after establishing the position a quarter earlier.
Visa (V) and Mastercard (MA)
Long-term holdings in Visa and Mastercard were also reduced during the fourth quarter. Berkshire’s stake in Visa was reduced by just over 13%, while its Mastercard holdings were reduced by around 7%. It was the second straight quarter of sales for the two payments giants, which have been part of Berkshire’s portfolio since 2011. Berkshire still owns about $1.4 billion from Mastercard and $1.8 billion from Visa, at the end of the year.
Communications Charter (CHTR)
A stake in broadband and cable company Charter Communications was reduced by about 9% during the fourth quarter. It was still worth around $2.5 billion at the end of the quarter and has performed well for Berkshire since the position was first bought in the second quarter of 2014. The stock traded around 140 dollars per share in May 2014 and traded over $800 during the third quarter of 2014. It is currently trading at around $608 per share.
Top stocks in Buffett’s portfolio
Berkshire takes a focused approach with its investments, typically holding the majority of its portfolio in just a few companies. Its major holdings remained unchanged during the fourth quarter and only four companies accounted for more than 70% of the portfolio’s value.
1. Apple (AAPL) – $157.5 billion
2.Bank of America (BAC) – $44.9 billion
3. American Express (AXP) – $24.8 billion
4.Coca-Cola (KO) – $23.7 billion
Buffett spent more than $20 billion buying back Berkshire stock in the first three quarters of 2021, including $7.6 billion in the third quarter. This indicates that the company believes that the shares are undervalued and that the remaining shareholders will benefit from the buybacks. Berkshire’s fourth quarter results will be released Feb. 26 along with Buffett’s widely read letter to shareholders.
At the end of the line
Buffett and Berkshire have an excellent track record when it comes to selecting investments, but be sure to thoroughly research all investments before investing yourself. Even stocks held by legendary investors are declining, and you’ll need to understand the companies you’re investing in well enough to make a buy, hold, or sell decision on your own.
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