The Oracle of Omaha’s latest stock portfolio moves.
What stocks has Warren Buffett bought and sold lately? Each quarter, all fund managers with at least $100 million in assets must publicly disclose their stock holdings to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission via form 13F, giving investors a rare peek behind the curtain of some of the world’s largest and most successful hedge funds. One of the most anticipated quarterly filings comes from Buffett and his $713 billion company Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (ticker: BRK.A, BRK.B). Here’s a look at nine of the biggest changes the Oracle of Omaha made to Berkshire’s portfolio in the fourth quarter, plus one big recent move.
Sold: AbbVie Inc. (ABBV)
Drugmaker AbbVie was seemingly one way Buffett attempted to invest in the health care industry response to the pandemic in 2020. Buffett began buying shares of AbbVie in the third quarter of 2020, but he reversed course and began selling in the first quarter of 2021. In the fourth quarter, Berkshire sold 11.4 million shares of ABBV stock, reducing its remaining stake by about 78%. As of the end of the quarter, Berkshire still held more than 3 million shares of AbbVie, worth about $410.7 million. If the recent trend continues, Buffett may completely exit his remaining AbbVie investment in coming quarters.
Sold: Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY)
Bristol-Myers Squibb is another pharmaceutical company that may be a Buffett misfire on the pandemic. As with AbbVie, Buffett began buying Bristol-Myers in the third quarter of 2020 but began selling in the first quarter of 2021. In the fourth quarter, Berkshire sold roughly 16.8 million shares, reducing its position size by about 76%. Buffett completely sold a position in Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) in the third quarter of 2021 and has consistently dumped shares of AbbVie and Bristol-Myers for the past year, so Berkshire looks likely to sell its remaining 5.2 million shares of BMY stock soon.
Bought: Chevron Corp. (CVX)
Buffett first invested in U.S. oil major Chevron in the fourth quarter of 2020. Since then, the oil industry and Buffett’s Chevron stake have been on a roller coaster ride. Buffett reduced his Chevron holdings in the first and second quarters of 2021, but a global energy crisis and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have sent crude oil prices soaring to 13-year highs. The shifting energy market appears to have changed Buffett’s mind. Berkshire bought about 9.5 million shares of Chevron stock in the fourth quarter, increasing his stake by about 33%, to $4.5 billion.
Bought: Nu Holdings Ltd. (NU)
Brazilian digital bank Nubank completed its initial public offering in December, but Berkshire first invested $500 million in the company as part of a private fundraising round back in June 2021. Buffett has historically been leery of investing in IPOs, but Nubank is a rare exception. Berkshire reportedly bought nearly 30 million shares of Nubank during its IPO, and Berkshire’s 13F filings show its total Nubank stake now stands at about 107.1 million shares worth about $1 billion. NU stock has struggled since going public and closed at $6.83 on March 7, below its IPO price of $9 per share.
Bought: Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI)
In January, Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) announced a planned $68.7 billion buyout deal for video game publisher Activision Blizzard at a price of $95 per share. At the time, Berkshire investors had no idea that Buffett’s company had purchased nearly $1 billion of Activision Blizzard shares at an average price of about $77 just weeks before the proposed deal was announced. Buffett subsequently said that one of Berkshire’s two investment managers, who operates independently of him, was responsible for the stake. As of the end of the fourth quarter, Berkshire held about 14.7 million shares of ATVI stock worth about $975.2 million.
Sold: Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA)
Israeli drug company Teva Pharmaceuticals has been one of Buffett’s biggest missteps in recent years. Buffett first began investing in Teva in the fourth quarter of 2017 and paid an average price in the high teens. In the fourth quarter of 2021, Berkshire unloaded its entire 42.8 million-share stake in Teva, which is now trading for less than $8 per share. The liquidation of the Teva stake is in line with Buffett’s general theme of reducing Berkshire’s exposure to the health care sector. Unfortunately for Buffett, Teva ended up being more of a value trap than a win for Berkshire.
Sold: Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc. (MMC)
Buffett first invested in insurance broker Marsh & McLennan in the fourth quarter of 2020. Buffett has always loved the insurance business, and Berkshire has its own sizable core insurance operation. Buffett began trimming his Marsh & McLennan stake in the second quarter of 2021, however, and continued through the fourth quarter. Last quarter, Berkshire sold about 2.3 million shares of MMC stock, cutting its remaining holdings by about 85%. At one point in 2020, Berkshire owned more than 5 million shares of MMC stock, but that stake is now down to just 404,911 shares worth about $70.4 million.
Sold: Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (SIRI)
Buffett first invested in satellite radio company Sirius XM back in the fourth quarter of 2016, and at first glance it may appear he is now done with the stock after six years. While Berkshire sold all 43.7 million shares of its SIRI stock in the fourth quarter, it still holds 20.2 million shares of Liberty Sirius XM Group Series A (LSXMA) stock and 43.2 million shares of Liberty Sirius XM Group Series C (LSXMK) stock, worth about $3.2 billion when combined. Liberty Sirius XM is a tracking stock that owns a majority stake in Sirius XM.
Bought: Liberty Media Formula One Series C (FWONK)
Besides Activision Blizzard and Nubank, FWONK was Berkshire’s only other new investment in the fourth quarter. Formula One Group is a subsidiary of billionaire businessman John Malone’s Liberty Media Corp. and is one of several Berkshire investments tied to the company. Liberty Formula One is a tracking stock for Liberty Media’s Formula One Group assets, which include an 11% stake in Liberty Media subsidiary and Atlanta Braves parent company the Braves Group. In the fourth quarter, Berkshire bought about 2.1 million shares of FWONK stock worth about $134 million, a relatively modest stake by Buffett’s standards.
Bought: Occidental Petroleum Corp. (OXY)
On March 4, a new filing from Berkshire Hathaway revealed that the company now owns 91.2 million shares of Occidental Petroleum worth about $5.1 billion, up from about 29.8 million shares previously. Much of that buying was reportedly done in early March. Occidental is one of the largest U.S. oil and gas companies. Berkshire also holds 83.9 million warrants that can be redeemed for Occidental common stock at a price of $59.62 per share. Berkshire acquired the warrants back in 2019, when Occidental was raising money to attempt a buyout of Anadarko Petroleum Corp.
10 stocks Warren Buffett just bought and sold:
— Sold: AbbVie Inc. (ABBV)
— Sold: Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY)
— Bought: Chevron Corp. (CVX)
— Bought: Nu Holdings Ltd. (NU)
— Bought: Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI)
— Sold: Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA)
— Sold: Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc. (MMC)
— Sold: Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (SIRI)
— Bought: Liberty Media Formula One Series C (FWONK)
— Bought: Occidental Petroleum Corp. (OXY)
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Update 03/08/22: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.