Buffett’s Latest Portfolio Moves & Soros Takes Major Stake in AMD, Chipotle & Cisco

By Yaser Anwar, CSC of Equity Investment IdeasNote: Dear Readers- The analysis below was taken from an email newsletter by MoneyNews.Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway made some adjustments to its investment portfolio in the third quarter, reducing its stake in some and adding shares in others, according to regulatory filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.First, let’s look at the cutbacks: Target, Anheuser-Busch, and H&R Block.Berkshire just disclosed its stake in Target at the end of October, buying 5.5 million shares or $268 million worth of the nation’s second largest discount retailer in the second quarter. But just as quickly, Berkshire sold off about 4.75 million shares, bringing its stake in Target to just 745,700 shares.Target announced yesterday a 16 percent jump in third quarter profits to 59 cents per share, beating expectations. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were expecting earnings to come in at 55 cents a share.Berkshire sold 7.11 million shares in Anheuser-Busch, the world’s largest brewer, after making an initial investment of 44.7 million shares or 5.7 percent of the company last year. Berkshire’s remaining investment was 36.4 million at the end of September.Berkshire cut its stake in tax preparer H&R Block, reducing shares to 10.97 million from 11.93 million.Now, let’s look at where the company added to its positions: Lowe’s, Nike, and Iron Mountain.Berkshire made a significant increase in its stake in home-improvement retailer Lowe’s, boosting the amount of shares from 390,000 to 6.79 million. Lowe’s and Home Depot, Lowe’s main competitor, have both cut their earnings outlook in the face of the housing slump. Buffett owns 4.18 million of Home Depot stock, too. Apparently, Buffett thinks now’s the time to buy.The company also hiked its stake in Nike, the world’s biggest athletic-shoe maker, from 2.47 million shares to 4 million shares. Berkshire added a million shares of Iron Mountain, the largest seller of records-management services, to its portfolio, raising its stake to 6 million shares.Berkshire Hathaway also gained 10 million shares of Western Union as part of its spinoff from First Data Corp. in September.Soros’s hedge fund added to its equities position by taking major stakes in a few companies.Soros Fund Management LLC increased its equities investments by 38 percent in the third quarter, investing nearly $2.9 billion, according to the filings. Soros bought a $20 million stake in Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and an $11 million position in Chipotle Mexican Grill, which recently spun off from parent company McDonalds.The fund also added to its position in Cisco Systems, bringing the investment to $30 million worth of shares from $2.4 million worth in the second quarter, a 1,150 percent increase in the stake.Soros also decided that some energy companies are a bargain right now, while others are not. The Soros fund invested $42 million in Occidental Petroleum and $31 million in Valero Energy. However, the fund sold $15 million worth of shares in both Massey Energy Corp. and Pioneer Natural Resources.Soros seemingly has mixed feelings about health-care companies too. His fund picked up $12 million worth of shares in health benefits company WellPoint, and sold $22 million worth of the iShares Nasdaq Biotech Index.Soros also sold his entire $2.5 million stake in Yahoo, in favor of buying a $2 million stake in rival Google.The hedge fund also invested $18 million in McData Corp’s convertible debt.

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