Warren Buffett hosted the Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) over the weekend and this Monday morning he gave a long interview to CNBC. In the interview Mr. Buffett noted how he still thinks stocks are cheap. More importantly, Buffett said he was using any weakness to buy stocks right now.
When Team Buffett adds to a position, it is often in the new or relatively new positions already in the Buffett portfolio. 24/7 Wall St. has taken a look at the recent additional stake or new stake positions to see which shares that Mr. Buffett and his team of portfolio managers has likely added to along with some color and logic behind the move.
CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS) was a larger position as of the end of 2011 at 7.106 million shares after having been a new holding in a recent quarter. This was worth about $280 million at the start of 2012 and it is up more than 10% since then and the market cap here is $58 billion.
Da Vita Inc. (NYSE: DVA) was previously listed as a new position of 2.684 million shares worth $203 million at the end of 2011 but that position is worth about 12% more. This is the leader as a kidney dialysis provider. If the health trends remain then this one is right up Buffett’s alley.
DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV) was most recently listed as a larger position which was listed as 20.348 million shares worth $870 million at the end of 2011. In a prior report we had it as a new position of 4.249 million shares one quarter earlier. The share price alone is up over 13% from the value at the end of 2011.
Dollar General Corporation (NYSE: DG) is one of the stocks which we think Team Buffett would have liked to own much more of. The rapid rise in the value of the dollar store trends as a secular theme was even noticed at Berkshire. This was the same size at the end of 2011 at 4.497 million shares but this was a new position and a larger position and it seems that the price just appreciated too fast for Buffett and friends to add many shares. Perhaps they participated in the most recent secondary offering, but that might not appear based on the cut-off dates.
General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE: GD) was most recently a larger stake of 3.877 million shares worth $257 million after being listed as a new position just one quarter earlier before of 3.064 million shares. These shares are hardly higher than the end of 2011, so perhaps Buffett and team have added to the stake on weakness.
Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) was a larger of 11.495 million shares worth $278 million at the end of 2011; this was a new position of 9.333 million shares last quarter. Shares are up 16% so far in 2012, so Buffett’s stake here may have grown in size and in value.
International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE: IBM) is one that Buffett already hinted at owning more of, but perhaps that is due to IBM’s share float shrinking from its buybacks. The most recent filing showed some 63.905 million shares worth some $11.75 billion now after having been a new position with an average cost of about $170 per share. Buffett’s bet has been worth more than a 10% unrealized gain ($1 billion or so) on what is now one of his largest positions.
Liberty Media Corporation (NASDAQ: LMCA) was a new position of 1.7 million shares worth some $132.7 million. If Buffett is involved much here, it is under his new portfolio managers. Shares are up about 6% this year so far but it is unknown what the real goal or strategy is here when you consider the DirecTV angle.
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) was most recently listed as a larger position of 2.865 million shares worth $291 million at the end of 2011. This was listed as 2.291 million shares in the previous quarter. The company has a near-duopoly and market strength and history that it seems just like a Buffett dream. He likes banks, but owning the toll road providers for the theme of consumers using less cash and more card swipes in the years ahead.
Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) is almost certainly a larger stake. The reason for believing that is that Wells Fargo seems to be a position which grows in size infinitely and it was raised during the prior filing period to more than 383 million shares. As of Friday’s closing bell, that stake (assuming no share count growth at all) would be worth a shopping $12.65 billion.
It is unlikely that Buffett would have added to each and every position. He just doesn’t do that and his new team may be more interested in adding on other new targeted stocks on the books.
Again, here is the FULL BUFFETT STOCK HOLDINGS.
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JON C. OGG