Short Sellers Going Against Warren Buffett and His Top Stocks


IBM saw its short interest jump 14.6% by the March 13 settlement date from the February 27 settlement date. The new short interest is listed as 24.315 million shares, with about five days to cover, versus 21.214 million shares at the end of February. In his most recent holdings report, Buffett’s stake was listed as 76.97 million shares.

So, Buffett’s total stake is more than three times the entire short interest in IBM. One thing that Buffett has in common with the short sellers, although in an opposite bet, is that both he and the short sellers have added more shares to their bets. Short sellers see what may be endless growth problems at IBM, while Buffett loves its valuation and buybacks.

IBM shares closed at $163.00 on Tuesday, which puts the stock’s performance up by 0.6% compared to the February 27 prior settlement date. IBM’s 52-week trading range is $149.52 to $199.21, and the consensus price target is $158.45.

ALSO READ: Why the Buffett Role in Kraft Heinz Matters So Much

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo saw its short interest gain as well from the end of February to mid-March. This was the smallest gain of all the top Buffett positions at 0.2% higher. March’s first short interest reading was 33.326 million shares, and this represented about two days to cover.

Buffett seems to have halted his accumulation of Wells Fargo shares. Still, he holds over 463 million shares of the nation’s top mortgage lender. That means that Buffett’s investment is currently worth almost 14 times that of the entire crowd of short sellers.

Shares of Wells Fargo were at $55.35 as of Tuesday’s close, which is up 1% from the February 27 closing price. Wells Fargo has a 52-week trading range of $46.44 to $56.29 and a consensus price target of $56.87.

Berkshire Hathaway

Now that we have seen the core holdings of Buffett against the short interest, what about the Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-B) short interest itself? The B-shares saw the short interest rise by 6.9% to 10.554 million shares, with about three days to cover.

Berkshire Hathaway shares were trading at $144.29 as of Tuesday’s close, which is down 2.1% from the $147.41 closing price from the February 27 settlement date. The B-shares have a 52-week trading range of $121.09 to $152.94.

ALSO READ: Warren Buffett’s 8 Top Dividend Stocks

It is widely known that Buffett loves to add shares, or at least make money off of his holdings, if he can. Buffett also welcomes anyone who bets against him, likely because it makes the market more efficient through time. One might wonder if Buffett has gone as far as to request that short sellers come directly to him so that he can charge the margin interest for the borrowing cost that short sellers have to pay. Oh, and as a reminder, short sellers are also on the hook for paying out a company’s dividend.

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