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In a 13F filing made public last week, Berkshire Hathaway has snapped up 3.9 million more shares of Apple and poured more into its already substantial energy investments, reports an article in The Wall Street Journal. The purchases come amidst some of the worst volatility the stock market has seen this year.
Berkshire, the conglomerate owned by billionaire Warren Buffett, now holds a stake worth $125 billion in Apple. The tech giant accounts for about 40% of Berkshire’s total stock portfolio. In addition to the Apple shares, Berkshire also bought 22 million shares of Occidental and 2.3 million shares of Chevron, putting a larger stake on its bet on U.S. oil this year. The company also enhanced its stakes in Ally Financial and Paramount Global, the article details. On the flip side, Berkshire sold off the last of its holdings in Verizon and Royalty Pharma PLC. It also reduced its stakes in General Motors, U.S. Bancorp, and the grocery chain Kroger. And the company did not open any new positions in the second quarter.
Given Buffett’s status as one of the most legendary investors of all time, investors tend to pay close attention to what Berkshire buys and sells. Even though he isn’t personally responsible for every single investment decision the company makes, the filings can offer insight on what Buffett believes will be a winner and which businesses have lost their luster for him. Berkshire has recently been a buying streak; it purchased $51 billion in stocks in the first quarter and $6.2 billion in the second. Last year, the company was focused mainly on buybacks of its own stock, with Buffett bemoaning “a lack of good buying opportunities” as the reason behind the repurchases. However, as volatility has increased, that’s offered Berkshire the chance to use its substantial cash reserves, and they’ve gone after the energy sector in particular, in the wake of surging oil prices as a result of the war in Ukraine. Indeed, many analysts believe that Berkshire’s continued pursuit of energy companies indicates that Buffett thinks energy prices will stay high for a long while. Energy stocks have been amongst the top performers in 2022, with Occidental up over 110%, the article notes.
According to Berkshire’s filings, the five largest holdings in the company’s stock portfolio, as of the end of June, were Apple, Bank of America, Coca-Cola, Chevron, and American Express, which make up roughly 69% of Berkshire’s total portfolio.