What Warren Buffett Is up To

What Warren Buffett Is up To
Warren Buffett, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, makes his way to a morning session at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 13, 2023 in Sun Valley, Idaho. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
Tribune News Service
By Dan Burrows From Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway initiated positions in three homebuilders, added to a couple of existing stakes and cut or closed out bets on eight other stocks during the second quarter of 2023.

Before we get into the stocks Berkshire bought and sold in Q2, it’s helpful to note that Buffett has always run a highly concentrated portfolio. Apple (symbol AAPL) alone accounted for 51 percent of Berkshire’s total portfolio value as of June 30.

On the buy side of the ledger, Berkshire opened a small position in homebuilder D.R. Horton (DHI), acquiring 6 million shares worth $726.5 million as of June 30, representing 0.2 percent of Berkshire’s portfolio. Buffett also nibbled on NVR (NVR), buying 11,112 shares worth $70.6 million (0.02 percent of the portfolio), and he bought 152,572 shares of Lennar (LEN.B) worth $17.3 million (0.01 percent).

Berkshire’s new homebuilder stocks fit with some of its other stock positions and wholly owned subsidiaries. For example, Berkshire holds stakes in Louisiana-Pacific (LPX) and Floor & Decor Holdings (FND). Housing-related subsidiaries owned by Berkshire include Acme Brick, Benjamin Moore, Clayton Homes, Jordan’s Furniture and Nebraska Furniture Mart, among others.

Elsewhere in the plus column, Buffett added 12.4 million shares of Occidental Petroleum (OXY), boosting the number of shares Berkshire holds in the company by 5 percent. Buffett has typically added to Berkshire’s Occidental stake when the share price falls below $60. At 224.1 million shares worth $13.2 billion as of June 30, the stock accounts for 3.8 percent of Berkshire’s portfolio, making it the sixth-largest holding. Berkshire owns more than one-fourth of Occidental Petroleum’s common shares outstanding.

Buffett also upped Berkshire’s stake in Capital One Financial (COF) by 25 percent, to 12.5 million shares worth $1.4 billion as of the end of the second quarter (0.4 percent of the portfolio).

Berkshire has dumped most of its bank stocks in recent years, though Buffett remains a fan of Bank of America (BAC).

On the sell side of Berkshire’s ledger, the holding company slashed its position in General Motors (GM) by 45 percent, or 18 million shares. The investment now stands at 22 million shares worth $848.3 million as of June 30, with a portfolio weighting of 0.2 percent.

Buffett trimmed Berkshire’s stake in Chevron (CVX) by 7 percent, to 123.1 million shares worth $19.4 billion as of June 30. Chevron remains Berkshire’s fifth-largest holding with a 5.6 percent weighting in the portfolio.

Buffett slashed Berkshire’s stake in video game publisher Activision Blizzard (ATVI) by 70 percent; he now holds 14.7 million shares worth $1.2 billion. Buffett’s interest was as an arbitrage play—a bet that regulators would approve Activision’s acquisition by Microsoft.

Berkshire also reduced its position in Celanese (CE) by 39 percent, to 5.4 million shares worth $620.5 million as of June 30 (0.2 percent of the portfolio). And Buffett sold 60 percent of his stake in Globe Life (GL). The insurer accounted for 0.08 percent of Berkshire’s portfolio as of June 30.

Finally, Berkshire exited positions in pharmaceutical distributor McKesson (MCK), insurance company Marsh & McLennan (MMC) and Vitesse Energy (VTS).

©2023 The Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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