Charter Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR) has been gradually raised in recent quarters, almost certainly by one of the portfolio managers rather than by Buffett himself. At 8.51 million shares at end of June, this stake has moved higher since becoming a new stake in 2014. Charter shares were at $188 less than two weeks ago and they fell to almost $170 before recovering to $181 or so. The merger with Time Warner Cable and Bright House is just added gravy here by most views. Berkshire Hathaway already owns 7.6% of the outstanding shares, but that will be smaller once the mergers close — meaning Team Buffett can buy even more with ease.
DaVita Inc. (NYSE: DVA) was the same stake at the end of June as the prior quarter at 38.565 million shares. Before March, this DaVita stake had been raised on and off in prior quarters. Buffett and his portfolio managers are already in a standstill agreement not to buy more than 25% of the company, after already having increased the stake in prior quarters. His stake now is almost 18%, so Buffett can still legally buy millions of more shares — and this stock fell to under $75.00, after having been above $80 less than two weeks ago, and under a high of $85.17, as well as the consensus analyst target of $87.38.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) was kept as the same stake of 60.385 million shares as of June 30, but the truth is that this stake has grown through time. Berkshire Hathaway owns only 1.88% of the outstanding shares, so there are zero regulatory issues. The $212 billion market cap is also large enough that Buffett could park as much cash as he could ever want to and it would not really swing the market in these shares. Wal-Mart shares are now close to $66, after having been at $72 just 10 days ago, and down from a high of just over $90.
Owning a piece of the largest retailer in the world may not be glamorous, but that is not what Buffett cares about. This company still represents retail America better than any other retail giant, and its annual sales of nearly $500 billion should prove it.
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