Warren Buffett is arguably the most famous investor in the world, and his investing 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 first quarter, according to the latest regulatory filing 13F with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Assets are reported as of March 31. At that time, the S&P 500 was down about 5% for the year, compared to the end of May, when the index fell more than 17%.
• Chevron (CVX): Berkshire gave its Chevron holdings a major boost in the quarter, increasing its stake from $4.5 billion at the end of 2021 to $25.9 billion at the end of March. The company is now one of Berkshire’s four largest holdings and offers a dividend yield of over 3%. Chevron benefited from higher energy prices and reported a profit of $6.3 billion in the first quarter of 2022, compared to $1.4 billion in the same quarter last year.
• Occidental Petroleum (OXY): Berkshire began buying shares of Occidental Petroleum during the first quarter and has further increased its stake since the end of the quarter, according to regulatory filings. Berkshire held 136.4 million shares at the end of March and now owns about 143 million shares, giving the company a roughly 15% stake in the Texas-based oil and gas producer, worth approximately $9.7 billion. Berkshire also holds mandates that could further increase its position.
• Citigroup (C), Ally Financial (ALLY) and Markel (MKL): New stakes in three financial services companies have been announced by Berkshire: Citigroup, Markel and Ally Financial. Citigroup’s stake was worth nearly $3 billion at the end of March, while Markel’s and Ally’s stakes were worth $620 million and $390 million, respectively. Markel has sometimes been referred to as a mini-Berkshire due to its insurance operations and investment prowess.
• Activision Blizzard (ATVI): Berkshire also significantly increased its stake in video game maker Activision Blizzard, which agreed to be acquired by Microsoft for $95 per share in cash. Berkshire now owns 64.3 million shares, up from 14.7 million at the end of 2021.
• Apple (AAPL): Berkshire’s largest shareholder also got a boost in the quarter as the company slightly increased its stake in Apple by less than 1%. The position in the iPhone maker was worth nearly $160 billion at the end of the quarter, with Berkshire adding more than 3 million shares.
• HP Inc. (HPQ): The company also disclosed its new position in HP, which manufactures computers and printers. Berkshire announced in early April that it had purchased nearly 121 million shares of HP, giving it a stake of more than 11% in the company. At the end of March, Berkshire held 104.5 million shares worth $3.8 billion.
• Paramount Global (PARA): Berkshire also established a new $2.6 billion position in Paramount Global, which operates film and television studios, cable networks such as MTV and Nickelodeon, and the CBS network. Berkshire held 68.9 million shares at the end of March.
• Celanese Corp. (CE): Berkshire also bought a new $1.1 billion position in Celanese, a materials supplier to the chemicals, paints and coatings industries. Berkshire held about 7.9 million shares at the end of the quarter.
• McKesson Corp. (MCK): A new $894.5 million stake has been disclosed by Berkshire in Texas-based McKesson, which is a distributor of pharmaceutical and medical supplies. The company also provides pharmaceutical services and technologies, as well as services for specialty practices.
• Verizon Communications (VZ): Berkshire nearly sold its position in Verizon during the quarter, selling more than 99% of its shares and leaving its stake at around $70 million at the end of March. Berkshire first bought the telecommunications giant in the second half of 2020, but the stock has since declined. At the end of 2021, Verizon’s stake was worth $8.3 billion.
• AbbVie (ABBV), Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) and Royalty Pharma (RPRX): Berkshire also completely eliminated its holdings in drugmakers AbbVie and Bristol-Myers Squibb during the quarter. He also reduced his stake in Royalty Pharma by more than 80% after establishing the position less than a year ago. Berkshire owned about 1.5 million shares, worth $58.3 million at the end of March, according to the filing.
• STORE Capital Corp. (STOR): Another place where Berkshire reduced its position during the quarter was STORE Capital where it reduced its stake by almost 40%. The position was first bought in the second quarter of 2017 and was worth over $430 million at the end of March. The real estate investment trust, or REIT, currently has a dividend yield of over 5% and a market capitalization of $7.7 billion.
• Wells Fargo (WFC): Berkshire eliminated its stake in longtime holding company Wells Fargo, which had become just a $32.4 million position by the end of 2021. Berkshire had been steadily selling the bank these last years.