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Berkshire Hathaway Changes in Equity Portfolio February 17, 2010

Posted by shaferfinancial in Finance, Uncategorized.

Warren Buffett has made some changes in his equity portfolio over the 4th quarter of 2009.

No new companies were bought.  But he added his ownership in the following companies:

Becton Dickinson: increased ownership by  25%

Iron Mountain: increased ownership by 108%

Republic Services: increased ownership by 129%

Wall Mart: increased ownership by 3%

Wells Fargo: increased ownership by 2%

Companies he lowered ownership or sold all ownership:

Car Max: reduced ownership 11%

Conoco Philips: reduced ownership by 34%

Exxon Mobil: reduced by 67%

Gannett: reduced by 36%

Ingersollrand: reduced by 28%

Johnson and Johnson: reduced by 26%

Moody’s: reduced by 19%

Norfolk Southern: liquidated entire holding due to purchase of BNI

Proctor and Gamble: reduced holdings by 9%

Sun Trust: reduced by 22%

Union Pacific: liquidated entire holdings because of purchase of BNI

United Health Group: reduced holdings 65%

Wellpoint Inc: reduced 60%

Of note, some of the sells had undoubtedly to do with raising cash for the purchase of Burlington Northern.  But there is a definitive trend.  Large reductions in United Health and Wellpoint point to potential problems with HMOs with health care reform coming down the train tracks.  But continue confidence in health care products are indicated by his continuing purchase of Becton.  Large reductions in Exxon and Conoco indicate loss of confidence in the oil industry going forward.  Buffett has already mentioned his mistake of buying Conoco shares, but now he seems to be bailing from Exxon too.  Increased ownership in Republic, Wall Mart and Iron Mountain furthers his belief in well run companies with enduring moats.  He has obviously lost confidence in Moody’s and Gannett.  Finally he continues his love affair with Wells Fargo.

Overall the value of his equity portfolio went up 2% for the quarter, but that tells us nothing about the increase in value of the company as we know he used significant cash to purchase BNI which he probably had on hand at the end of 2009.  With the BNI purchase we see a continuing movement toward owning entire companies and the majority of the assets of Berkshire continues to be wholly owned companies rather than equity ownership in public companies.  In short Berkshire is a very efficient cash flowing machine becoming less dependent upon the market valuation judgments of the mass investor.



1. BawldGuy - February 18, 2010

Seems maybe Warren is harkening back to the ‘Old Normal’. 🙂

2. shaferfinancial - February 18, 2010

Yea think????

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