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 $780 billion company, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (ticker: BRK.A, BRK.B).
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Here’s a look at 10 of the biggest changes the Oracle of Omaha made to Berkshire’s portfolio in the third quarter:
|Q3 CHANGE IN SHARES
|Chevron Corp. (CVX)
|General Motors Co. (GM)
|Celanese Corp. (CE)
|HP Inc. (HPQ)
|Markel Group Inc. (MKL)
|Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)
|Mondelez International Inc. (MDLZ)
|Procter & Gamble Co. (PG)
|United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS)
|Globe Life Inc. (GL)
Sold: Chevron Corp. (CVX)
Buffett first invested in U.S. oil major Chevron in the fourth quarter of 2020. Buffett sold Chevron shares in the first and second quarters of 2021, but a global energy crisis and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent crude oil prices soaring to 13-year highs in 2022. In response, Buffett added to his Chevron investment in the first three quarters of 2022 but pivoted again and has been dumping Chevron ever since. In the third quarter, Berkshire sold about 12.9 million CVX shares, but it still holds 110.2 million shares worth about $18.6 billion.
Sold: General Motors Co. (GM)
Priced at just 4.2 times forward earnings, legacy automaker General Motors is exactly the type of value stock Buffett typically targets. Berkshire first bought shares of GM back in the first quarter of 2012, a little over a year after it completed its initial public offering following its bankruptcy restructuring. Buffett has been steadily selling GM stock since the second quarter of 2022. Berkshire dumped its final 22 million shares in the most recent quarter, exiting its GM investment after more than a decade. From the beginning of 2012 through Nov. 16, 2023, GM has generated a 77.6% total return, which includes dividends.
Sold: Celanese Corp. (CE)
Celanese is an industrial chemical producer. When Berkshire first invested in Celanese in the first quarter of 2022, the stock was Berkshire’s only holding in the materials sector. At the time, Buffett may have been attracted to the company’s capital returns, including its 2.2% dividend. Celanese may have also been a play on inflation that didn’t quite pan out the way Buffett had hoped. Whatever the reason, Berkshire sold all of its 5.4 million shares of CE stock in the third quarter, exiting its position. Since the beginning of 2022, Celanese shares are down 20.3% on a total return basis.
Sold: HP Inc. (HPQ)
Buffett first invested in computer and printer company HP in the first quarter of 2022. For decades, Buffett avoided the uncertainty of tech stocks like HP, but he has changed his tune in recent years. At one point in 2023, Berkshire owned nearly 121 million HPQ shares, but the stock’s 20.6% total return loss since the beginning of 2022 has severely underperformed the S&P 500. Berkshire trimmed its HP stake by 3% in the third quarter, selling more than 3 million shares. Berkshire’s remaining stake of 97.9 million HPQ shares is worth about $2.6 billion.
Sold: Markel Group Inc. (MKL)
Markel underwrites a wide variety of specialty insurance policies. Buffett has always loved the insurance business, and Berkshire has its own sizable core insurance operation. Buffett took a relatively modest stake of around 420,000 shares of Markel, worth about $620 million, in the first quarter of 2022. However, Berkshire reversed course aggressively in the third quarter, selling more than 312,000 shares and reducing its stake by two-thirds. The company’s remaining stake of 158,715 shares are worth about $233.7 million, but there’s a high likelihood Buffett will continue selling and exit the position in the fourth quarter.
Sold: Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)
Berkshire’s stake in global pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson peaked at 64.3 million shares back in 2007, and the stock is up about 260% since that time. Buffett dumped the majority of his holdings back in 2012, but Berkshire finally sold its remaining 327,100 shares of the stock in the third quarter and completely exited the position after owning the stock for more than 17 years. Buffett may be fed up with Johnson & Johnson’s underperformance given the stock is up just 17.5% in the past five years, or he may not have liked its Kenvue Inc. (KVUE) spinoff.
Sold: Mondelez International Inc. (MDLZ)
Mondelez is one of the world’s largest snack food companies and is the owner of popular brands such as Cadbury, Oreo and Trident. Mondelez was spun off from Kraft back in 2012. Today, Buffett still holds a large position in Kraft Heinz Co. (KHC), but Berkshire sold its entire stake of 578,000 shares of Mondelez stock in the third quarter. Ironically, Mondelez has significantly outperformed Kraft since its spinoff, generating a 211% total return. It’s unclear why Buffett dropped Mondelez after all this time given the stock still has a forward earnings multiple of 20.
Sold: Procter & Gamble Co. (PG)
Procter & Gamble produces household products and owns popular brands such as Pampers, Tide and Bounty. Procter was yet another long-term Berkshire holding that fell victim to Buffett’s third-quarter house cleaning. Buffett first bought PG shares back in the first quarter of 2005, making the stock one of Berkshire’s five oldest stock holdings entering the third quarter. However, Buffett has finally decided to cash out of his position, selling all of his 315,400 shares of PG stock. Since the beginning of 2005, Procter & Gamble shares have generated a 371% total return, but it has underperformed in the past three years.
Sold: United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS)
United Parcel Service is the world’s largest global package delivery company, and it also operates other related businesses, such as air and ocean forwarding and customs brokerage. UPS is one of five stocks, including Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Mondelez and General Motors, that Buffett exited completely in the third quarter after holding for more than 10 years each. Berkshire first bought UPS shares back in the first quarter of 2006, but the company sold its entire remaining stake of 59,400 shares in the third quarter. UPS shares are up 232% since the beginning of 2006.
Sold: Globe Life Inc. (GL)
Globe Life is a traditional life and health insurance company that focuses primarily on middle market customers. Formerly known as Torchmark until a name change in August 2019, Globe Life has been a constant Berkshire Hathaway holding since the first quarter of 2001. However, that streak may soon be coming to an end after 22 years. In the third quarter, Berkshire sold more than 1.6 million shares of Globe Life stock, reducing its stake by about two-thirds. The company still held 831,014 shares worth about $90.4 million as of the end of the quarter.
Liberty Media Restructuring
In addition to the changes described above, avid Buffett followers may have noticed some new positions added to the Berkshire portfolio in the third quarter, but those stakes may be somewhat deceiving. Berkshire reported brand-new stakes in Liberty Live Group Series C (LLYVK), Liberty Live Group Series A (LLYVA), Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (SIRI) and Atlanta Braves Holdings Inc. (BATRK) in the quarter. However, all four of these new stakes are related to Berkshire’s existing stake in Liberty SiriusXM Group (LSXMK, LSXMA), which did not change in the quarter.
Parent company Liberty Media Corp. distributed shares of Liberty Live Series C, Liberty Live Series A and Atlanta Braves Holdings stock to existing Liberty Media investors as part of a stock reclassification in the third quarter. It appears Berkshire added a small position in SIRI on its own during the quarter, but the Liberty Media board of directors is also attempting to combine its 84% stake in Sirius XM (the aforementioned LSXMK and LSXMA tickers) with Sirius XM Holdings to form a new company called New SiriusXM.
What does all of this convoluted restructuring mean for Buffett followers? It’s unclear at this point which of the Liberty Media tracking stocks Buffett will hold onto for the long run once the dust settles on the restructuring efforts. For now at least, it seems he is generally still bullish on Liberty, given his stake in LSXMK and LSXMA did not change in the quarter.
Source: US News