Warren Buffett’s Top Stock Changes: IBM, GE, Synchrony, Sirius and More

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Warren Buffett is often considered the greatest investor of the modern era. Having reached the status of the wealthiest person in the world before probably means he knows a thing or too. It is for this reason that investors love to watch the internal investment moves made by Buffett and his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A).

While the latest 13F filing from Berkshire Hathaway contained fewer changes than in the past quarters, there were several issues that stood out handily.

Berkshire Hathaway’s holdings of publicly traded equities in the major U.S. exchanges were listed as a whopping $162.1 billion. That figure was $161.8 billion a quarter earlier and about $148 billion at the end of 2016. These figures do not include public debt and convertible securities held by the conglomerate.

Buffett’s holding of International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) was smaller as of June 30, 2017, than it was at the end of March. What matters here is this confirms that Buffett had buyer’s remorse, because even more shares were sold this quarter.

Bufffett’s new stake in IBM was listed as 54,084,673 shares, worth almost $8.32 billion at the end of June. His stake was 64.56 million shares at the end of March, down from a peak of 81.23 million shares.

Also worth noting was that General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) has been dumped as a long-term holding of Berkshire Hathaway. Perhaps even Buffett feels that GE’s best days have been seen or that the new CEO will have a hard time right-sizing the massive GE portfolio. Also note that the GE stake was worth just $315 million in the prior quarter.

Synchrony Financial (NYSE: SYF) was added as a new stake for Berkshire Hathaway. The private label credit card issuer was listed as a 17.5 million share stake, worth about $521 million. Synchrony shares rose more than 4% on that news. As a reminder, Synchrony was a GE spin-off back in 2014.

According to Reuters, Berkshire Hathaway trimmed its stakes in the following stocks:

  • Wabco Holdings Inc. (NYSE: WBC)
  • Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI)
  • American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ: AAL)
  • Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL)
  • United Continental Holdings Inc. (NYSE: UAL)

Reuters further noted that Warren Buffett increased his stakes in Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (NYSE: BK) and General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM).

A new stake of 18.62 million shares was added in shares of Store Capital Corp. (NYSE: STOR), worth some $418 million. This purchase had been disclosed earlier in 2017.

Although there were only some slight changes in Buffett’s holdings, the staples of his portfolio held strong. In the filing, Buffett noted that he still has sizable stakes in the likes of American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO), Kraft Heinz Co. (NASDAQ: KHC) and Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC). Overall these companies make up the real guts of his portfolio, and with the markets continuing as they are, these holdings in particular should make an incredible return for this year alone.

The raw number of portfolio changes seems smaller than those seen in recent quarters. Either way, whale watchers just got a new look inside the mind of Warren Buffett and his team of portfolio managers.