Key Changes in Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway Stock Holdings
Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) have released the official equity holdings of Berkshire Hathaway as of June 30, 2015. It has been the case for years now that 24/7 Wall St. has released the full list of holdings, and we have included color on changes in the positions or in the value of those holdings through time.
As we have seen in many announcements, over half of Buffett’s total equity holdings are heavily concentrated in just four top holdings, as follows: Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC), International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM), Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) and American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP). Approximately 58% of the aggregate fair value of equity investments was still concentrated in just four public companies, roughly the same as in March and down from 59% at the end of 2014.
Another issue which was seen in this 13F filing was that the public equities value of the portfolio was $107.18 billion, while the last earnings report showed a value of $110.776 billion. The 13F filing showed that “confidential information has been omitted from the public Form 13F report and filed separately with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission,” which means that what you see here may be different in reality.
What the total public stock holdings from the full 13F-HR filing do not show is the amount of holdings held in preferred shares, nor in the big companies which have gone private. Berkshire Hathaway invested $3 billion in 2009 into preferred shares of Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE: DOW), and it invested $5 billion for Preferred shares and warrants in Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) in 2011. Buffett has a big stake worth over $11 billion in Heinz as well.
American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) remained the same position of over 151 million shares. The value of this was listed as $11.8 billion as of June 30 versus $13.3 billion at the end of 2014. Buffett has held these shares so long he does not have to care about the dropping price, but American Express has suffered handily so far in 2015. Buffett’s number of American Express shares has been static for years. We issued a Bull & Bear Case for AmEx in 2015 earlier this year, with a projected 7.2% gain, but AmEx is greatly disappointing here as nothing seems to be going its way.
Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) was yet again the same number of about 400 million shares. The latest earnings report showed it being worth $15.7 billion. That compares to a March value of $16.2 billion and it was valued at $16.9 billion at the end of 2014. Buffett’s stake in Coca-Cola has remained static for years, and he started buying in the 1980s. His adjusted costs basis gets closer and closer to zero each year if you consider dividend payments without considering the effect of taxes on those dividends. Our own Bull and Bear Case for Coca-Cola in 2015 showed an expected 7.2% gain this year.
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) was listed as being the same 79.5 million shares as last quarter. 24/7 Wall St. would like to point out that Buffett just this last Monday hinted that Berkshire bought more IBM shares. That could have happened since the end of June of course, but this is yet again another quarter that Mr. Buffett hinted about buying shares and you just do not see those holdings in the filings. Maybe the “confidential” aspect explains this. The value of IBM as of June 30 was listed as being $12.9 billion, up from the $12.8 billion at the end of the first quarter. Buffett has added to the IBM stake in prior quarters. The end of 2014 position was 76.971 million IBM shares, up from 70.478 million shares in the third quarter of 2014 and 70.173 million last summer. Our Bull and Bear Case for IBM in 2015 showed an expected 7.8% gain this year.
Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) was a stake of 470.3 million shares, which is identical to our tally from the March 31 quarter-end. The quarterly earnings showed a Wells Fargo share value of $27.6 billion as of June 30, better than the $26.7 billion at the end of March. Buffett has stalled in aggressive buying in Wells Fargo of late, but this has grown massively through time. There is also the notion that Berkshire’s stake is about 9.1% of the entire float, so Buffett simply may not be able to own more without more regulatory and more governance issues.
The full list of additional Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway stock holdings as of June 30, 2015 is as follows: