Banking & Finance

Berkshire Hathaway 2013 Annual Meeting Focus: Buffett Portfolio Changes

This weekend will mark yet another annual shareholder meeting for Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A). Warren Buffett has even started to use Twitter to kick off what is often called The Woodstock of Wall Street. 24/7 Wall St. reports on the holdings and new portfolio changes each and every quarter, and we want to focus on the changes we think that Mr. Buffett is making to the portfolio.

The conglomerate is set to report earnings on Friday ahead of the annual meeting, but earnings do not really matter here. Mr. Buffett has said over and over that Berkshire Hathaway could make its earnings magically go up or down based upon purchase or sale transactions. He maintains over and over that the book value per share is what really matters here. As always, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-B) and Warren Buffett’s latest full stock holdings can be tracked here.

These are the portfolio changes that 24/7 Wall St. believes Mr. Buffett and portfolio managers Todd Combs and Ted Weschler have made ahead of the annual meeting.

Archer Daniels Midland Co. (NYSE: ADM) was a new position at the last report and with Buffett giving more investing money of about $1 billion to Ted Weschler and Todd Coombs lately, our bet is that this position has been added to. ADM was a new position of 5.95 million shares worth some $163.1 million as of the end of 2012.

DaVita Inc. (NYSE: DVA) was already more than a 10% stake and the firm keeps raising its stake. Frankly, we would not be shocked if this company was just acquired outright down the road by Berkshire Hathaway.

DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV) has been added to and we see no reason that the latest stake of almost 34 million shares would not be added to yet again. The satellite TV provider is up 16% year to date, just hit a new high on Friday and is up by close to 4% since the end of the first quarter.

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) has been added to before. It is possible that Buffett is adding to the stake here, although he would likely want to buy these at a discount in the government offering of “Government Motors” stock rather than in the open market.

International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) is going to likely keep growing for Berkshire Hathaway as the company keeps buying back stock and recently raised its dividend. Warren Buffett told CNBC, “I won’t be a seller of IBM.” This was over 68 million shares last quarter for a 6.03% stake, and our bet is that Buffett added a bit to it after the stock went on sale after a poor earnings report.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) is likely to be void entirely now in the Berkshire Hathaway stock portfolio. This was a mere 327,100 shares last time and has shrunk through time. The stake is so small that it was likely just not exited right before the end of the last quarter.

Moody’s Corp. (NYSE: MCO) has been confirmed that the stock holding is shrinking here. Berkshire Hathaway recently sold off about 1.7 million shares of . The position is very profitable for the conglomerate despite the woes of the past for the ratings agency. Buffett’s stake is still over 26 million shares.

Precision Castparts Corp. (NYSE: PCP) was a larger stake last quarter at roughly 2 million shares versus being a new position of 1.25 million shares in the prior quarter. If the new portfolio managers have new funds, they may have added to this even the stock has been range-bound so far in 2013.

Berkshire Hathaway keeps adding over and over to its position of Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) and we expect that to have continued in the first quarter. What is perhaps more interesting is that Bloomberg showed a video with Warren Buffett praising J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) and CEO Jamie Dimon. Buffett told Bloomberg that he is in full 100% support of Jamie Dimon and his dual role as CEo and Chairman.