fbpx

Here’s What Warren Buffett Is Buying and Selling

Berkshire Hathaway increased and decreased some of its stock positions, and eliminated one entirely.

Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A) (NYSE:BRK-B), the conglomerate led by billionaire investor Warren Buffett, recently filed its 13-F with the SEC, which revealed the changes in the company’s stock portfolio over the first three months of the year.

Two moves we already knew about

First, there were two non-surprises from the filing. Based on previous interviews with Buffett, we already knew Berkshire had roughly doubled its Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) investment during the first quarter — now we know the actual number of shares Berkshire owns. As of the end of the quarter, Berkshire owned 129 million shares of the tech giant, worth about $19.7 billion as of this writing.

We also knew that Berkshire unloaded a substantial portion of its IBM (NYSE:IBM) stake, which Buffett said was trimmed by about a third. The stake decreased by 21% during the first quarter, which suggests the remainder of the IBM selling occurred after the quarter ended.

Buying and selling airline stocks

During the first quarter, Berkshire increased its stakes in two of the four airlines it owns, Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)and American Airlines Group (NASDAQ:AAL), while also reducing its investment in Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL). Here’s what Berkshire’s stakes in the four largest U.S. airlines look like now:

Company Symbol Shares Owned % Stake
American Airlines AAL 49,278,854 10.2%
Delta Air Lines DAL 55,025,995 7.6%
Southwest Airlines LUV 47,659,456 8%
United Continental Holdings UAL 28,951,353 9.5%

DATA SOURCE: BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY SEC FILINGS.

Other Buffett buys

In addition to the Apple and IBM changes, and the shake-up in Berkshire’s airline holdings, there were a couple of other notable increases in the company’s stock positions.

First, Berkshire’s Sirius XM (NASDAQ:SIRI) stake increased by about 5.7 million shares. The satellite radio leader is a recent addition to Berkshire’s portfolio, initially purchased during the fourth quarter of 2016. To be clear, though, the increase represents an additional investment of about $29 million, a rather small sum by Berkshire standards.

Perhaps more significantly, Berkshire added about 11.3 million shares to its stake in Bank of New York Mellon(NYSE:BK), one of five bank stocks in its portfolio. That’s an increase of more than 50% on a holding previously worth more than a billion dollars, based on the bank’s current share price. Berkshire now holds 3.2% of Bank of New York Mellon’s outstanding shares.

Berkshire’s Fox stake is no more

One stock notably absent from Berkshire’s portfolio is 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA), of which Berkshire owned a relatively small, but significant, $251 million stake. We don’t yet know why Berkshire decided to end its investment in Fox, but we do know the sale occurred before Fox News star Bill O’Reilly was fired in April.

Here’s what we don’t know

Buffett will occasionally talk about his reasoning behind buying or selling a stock, as he did with Apple, but not always. Specifically, we don’t know why Buffett (or one of his stock-pickers) decided to increase two airline stakes and decrease another, or why Fox is no longer a part of Berkshire’s portfolio.

We also don’t know which investment decisions were made by Buffett himself, and which were the work of his two stock-picking lieutenants, Ted Weschler and Todd Combs. And finally, keep in mind that the 13-F just shows a snapshot of Berkshire’s portfolio on March 31, 2017. More than a month and a half have passed since that date, so it’s entirely possible Berkshire has made other major moves since then.

The point is, you should take these moves with a grain of salt, and you shouldn’t make investment decisions simply because a billionaire did. For the most part, we don’t know why these decisions were made, nor do we know if the rationale behind these moves still applies now.

10 stocks we like better than Apple
When investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.*

David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the ten best stocks for investors to buy right now… and Apple wasn’t one of them! That’s right — they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

*Stock Advisor returns as of May 1, 2017

Matthew Frankel owns shares of Apple and Berkshire Hathaway (B shares). The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple and Berkshire Hathaway (B shares). The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

You May Also Like

Pride Week Festival Begins With Tribute to Pulse Nightclub Survivor

Miami Beach Pride’s week-long festivities will commence with a special tribute to the LGBTQ+ community honoring the victims of the tragic shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. A ceremonial “flip

Surfside luxury condo sees notable sales

Arte at Surfside is making waves. There’s, of course, the news that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are renting at the 16-resident luxury condominium. And there’s the December penthouse sale

Up in the Air: A Discussion

In a dynamic region where residents are typically on the move, everyone is wondering about the health of the airline industry and the safety of airports and airplanes. Everyone is

South Florida Yachting Legend Passes

Robert “Bob” Roscioli, an icon in the South Florida marine industry, has passed away. Many recognize the name Roscioli from the widely-successful and world-renowned Roscioli Yachting Center, a full service

Other Posts

Four key steps

[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text] What a crazy time we are all experiencing. Right now, getting back to basics is most important. It is not and

Pandemic adds to worries about hurricane season

An above-normal 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is expected, according to forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. The outlook predicts a 60% chance of

The difference between leading and managing

[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text] Leadership and management are often misunderstood as one in the same. They are not. Certainly, a good leader should be able

Flattening the housing curve in a pandemic

By Josh Migdal In the classic film Groundhog Day (and yes, it is a classic), Bill Murray’s character wakes up over and over again in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, reliving the same

Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky

Editor-in-Chief

BIOGRAPHY

Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.