Here’s Every Stock Warren Buffett Bought or Sold in the First Quarter

Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A. 1.11%)(BRK.B 1.01%) has dozens of subsidiary businesses, but the topic of many headlines surrounding the company is the massive stock portfolio it owns, and for good reason. With a market value of $ 364 billion and most of its positions hand-selected by Warren Buffett himself, Berkshire’s stock portfolio is very closely watched by investors who want to see what moves the Oracle of Omaha is making.

We learned at Berkshire’s recent annual meeting that Buffett and his team were rather active in the market during the first quarter, but we just got a glimpse at what he bought and sold. To put it mildly, this was Berkshire’s most active quarter in a long time. Buffett and his investment managers initiated eight new positions, added shares to seven of its existing stock positions, and sold either some or all of five.

Without further delay, here’s a look at every stock Berkshire Hathaway bought or sold since we last got a snapshot of its stock portfolio.

Warren Buffett smiling.

Image source: Getty Images.

New stock positions in Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio

Company (Symbol)

Shares Bought

Market Value

% Ownership

Western Petroleum (OXY 0.18%)

226,119,467

$ 13.2 billion

24.2%

HP (HPQ 4.45%)

120,952,818

$ 4.22 billion

11.5%

City Group (C 7.16%)

55,155,797

$ 2.95 billion

2.8%

Paramount Global (PEAR 13.28%)

68,947,760

$ 2.61 billion

11.3%

Celanese (WHAT THE 7.00%)

7,880,998

$ 1.13 billion

7.3%

McKesson (MCK 1.62%)

2,921,975

$ 895 million

2%

Markel (MKL 1.75%)

420,293

$ 620 million

3.1%

Ally Financial (ALLY 5.29%)

8,969,420

$ 390 million

2.7%

Data source: Berkshire Hathaway SEC Filings.

We already knew about a couple of these – specifically Occidental and HP, the two largest. But some of the others are a surprise.

For starters, we know Buffett is a fan of the financial sector, but Citigroup is a surprising choice. In fact, it is the only one of the large US banks that Buffett has not owned at some point in recent years. Ally Financial isn’t nearly as much of a surprise, as Berkshire likes efficient, high-margin businesses like that and previously owned Synchrony Financial (SYF 5.67%)which is rather similar.

Paramount Global conglomerate media was a bit of a surprise. The media conglomerate owns the Paramount film and television studios, CBS Entertainment, several well-known media networks, and more. Materials company Celanese is more of a traditional “Buffett stock,” and pharmaceutical and medical supply company McKesson is the latest in a string of healthcare bets from Buffett.

Last but certainly not least, Markel is a particularly notable addition. For one thing, Markel is often referred to as a “baby Berkshire” itself, as it uses a similar business model of insurance operations funding an investment portfolio. And it’s interesting to note that Markel released its latest portfolio holdings as well – and its largest position by far is Berkshire Hathaway.

Stocks Berkshire Hathaway added to

Company (Symbol)

Shares Bought

Market Value of New Shares

% Ownership

Apple (AAPL 1.40%)

3,787,856

$ 557 million

5.5%

Chevron (CLC 0.18%)

120,933,082

$ 20.3 billion

8.2%

Activision Blizzard (ATVI 0.03%)

49,657,101

$ 3.86 billion

8.2%

General Motors (GM 1.29%)

2,045,847

$ 78.2 million

4.3%

RH (RH 4.12%)

353,453

$ 102 million

10.1%

Liberty Media (NASDAQ: FONK)

7,722,451

$ 471 million

3.8%

Floor & Decor Holdings (FND 2.12%)

4,780,000

$ 281 million

4.5%

Data source: Berkshire Hathaway SEC Filings.

To be sure, we already knew about the two most notable adds. We knew from Buffett’s commentary at Berkshire’s annual meeting that Chevron had become one of the company’s largest stock positions, and that Buffett decided to make an arbitrage play on Activision Blizzard’s pending acquisition by Microsoft (MSFT 0.66%).

Stocks Berkshire Hathaway sold in the first quarter

Company (Symbol)

Shares Sold

Market Value

Ownership Percentage After Sales

Kroger (KR -4.36%)

3,427,647

$ 183 million

7.9%

Store Capital (STOR 0.44%)

9,660,357

$ 265 million

5.4%

Verizon (VZ -0.43%)

157,444,464

$ 7.6 billion

0.03%

Royalty Pharma (RPRX 2.10%)

7,151,896

$ 286 million

0.3%

Wells Fargo (WFC 2.44%)

675,054

$ 28.8 million

0%

Data source: Berkshire Hathaway SEC Filings.

The biggest sell of the quarter was Verizon, but it wasn’t exactly a surprise. The company’s recent quarterly report indicated that Berkshire may have unloaded the telecom giant. And it’s also worth noting that for the first time since 1989, Berkshire now owns no Wells Fargo shares whatsoever.

A lot could have happened since March

One important point to keep in mind is that other than the share counts for Activision Blizzard, HP, and Occidental, all of these are as of the end of the first quarter on March 31.

Two things to remember. First, the bulk of the recent market slump took place after the end of the first quarter. And second, at the end of the first quarter, Berkshire still had $ 106 billion in cash – far more than the $ 30 billion Buffett likes to keep on hand. So it’s entirely possible Buffett and his team have been putting more money to work over the past month and a half or so. We’ll just have to stay tuned.

1 thought on “Here’s Every Stock Warren Buffett Bought or Sold in the First Quarter”

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