Warren Buffett is currently among the world’s most closely followed investment gurus. As he was the world’s richest man on paper, it seems pretty certain he must know a few things about high finance. Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) now own close to $130 billion in common and preferred stock of U.S. public companies.
It has been an unusual year for stocks. The market is currently in positive territory despite all the woes. Europe and Japan are deep into quantitative easing as the Brexit fears get going. And a really ugly start to the year found the same reception as all other sell-offs in the past five years or so — investors just bought stocks in droves.
As of Wednesday, July 6, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 3.7% and the S&P 500 was up 3.3% so far in 2016. Berkshire Hathaway itself was up 7.6% year to date in the A-shares.
Investors often love watching the top stocks and the new additions and deletions from Buffett’s top stock holdings each quarter. 24/7 Wall St. just featured the five worst Buffett stocks of 2016, and here are the five best performing Buffett stocks so far in 2016. They are handily outperforming the broader market. Brief color and commentary has been added on each position.
It will be interesting to see if these stocks will hold their gains in the rest of 2016. As you will see, most are at or above their consensus analyst price targets from Wall Street analysts.
A much larger company than when Team Buffett first invested, Charter Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR) is also insulated from almost all of the ongoing international woes. Its shares were last seen up a whopping 27% so far in 2016, and up an even higher 33% than a year ago. That is all without it even paying a dividend, as well as with it having more debt than traditional Buffett stocks. Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio managers have even been raising their stake here, up to 10.32 million shares from 8.5 million earlier in 2015.
At $232.78 as of the most recent close, Buffett’s stake is worth almost $2.4 billion, versus a market cap of almost $63 billion. The stock has a 52-week trading range of $156.13 to $234.47.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) was last seen up a sharp 25% so far in 2016, and it was also up 26% from a year ago. This outsized performance is from investors chasing yields in telecom, and Verizon is now deemed a defensive play with limited exposure in markets where the world is scared. In some ways it is a utility stock.
Verizon shares were last trading at $56.26, and its consensus analyst price target is $52.44. Its market cap is $229 billion, and it has a 52-week range of $38.06 to $56.95.