Major Changes Seen in Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway Stocks for 2016

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Warren Buffett has now released the official equity holdings of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) as of December 31, 2016. That makes this the official Buffett stocks for 2016, but we would advise readers that the stakes are already different from the latest 13F filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

24/7 Wall St. has followed the various changes from Buffett’s top stock holdings for many years now. We have also added detail on each of these changes, as well as added color on each of the pertinent holdings or added commentary on the value of those holdings through time.

Buffett’s total equity holdings are heavily concentrated in just a few top positions. That was previously concentrated among just four top holdings, but now there are actually five or six. His top holdings are listed as follows: credit card giant American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP); banking giant Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC); IT-services giant International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM); beverage giant Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO); food-giant Kraft Heinz Co. (NYSE: KHC); and refining giant Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX).

Because of all the changes that have been made in recent months, the reality is that the Buffett stocks for 2016 are going to look massively different from the Buffett stocks at the start of 2015 and 2014. This came to a whopping $131.855 billion in public equities alone that are listed in the United States.

The total public stock holdings from the full 13F-HR filing do not show the full dollars held in preferred shares — like its $3 billion invested in 2009 into preferred shares of Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE: DOW) and like the $5 billion for preferred shares and warrants in Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) from back in 2011. Buffett also recently completed the $37 billion acquisition of Precision Castparts, making that position from the 13F filing no longer relevant.


American Express Co.

(NYSE: AXP) has remained the same 151.6 million shares for years now. Buffett has held these shares so long he probably worries about the capital gains tax he would pay more than he worries about how much the shares have fallen from their highs. Still, American Express has suffered handily so far in 2016.

Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) was the same number of about 400 million shares that it has been for many years. This stake dates back to when he started buying Coca-Cola in the 1980s. Buffett’s cost basis must be nearing zero, if you include the dividends.

International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) had been grown and grown, but the IBM stake was kept static at 81.03 million shares as of December 31. Maybe Buffett got tired of seeing this one go down lower and lower. This stake was about 79.5 million shares as of the end of last June, and the end of 2014 position was 76.971 million shares.

Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) was listed as 479.7 million shares at the end of 2015, which is now higher than the stake of 470.29 million shares at the end of September. Buffett has grown his stake through time, but at a slower rate in the past year or so. At he gets closer to being a 10% holder, Buffett may be at the point that it is harder to grow that stake without more regulatory and more governance issues, particularly with a massive stock buyback.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) had previously been listed as a new stake for Berkshire Hathaway, with 59.32 million shares. The reality is that this was tied to the prior DirecTV stake. As of the end of 2015, the AT&T stake is SMALLER by 12.74 million shares to 46.577 million shares.

Kinder Morgan Inc. (NYSE: KMI) was listed as a NEW STAKE, making Buffett interested more in the infrastructure side. This stake was listed as 26.533 million shares as of December 31. Maybe Jefferies seeing six reasons oil could rise in 2016 was not as far off as it seemed when it was reported.

Kraft Heinz Co. (NASDAQ: KHC) was listed as 325,634,818 shares. This stake is actually the same as the prior quarter, but it is a whopping $23.69 billion as of the end of 2015.

Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX) was already a larger stake than what was represented at the end of 2015. This was last seen as a total of 75.55 million shares as of late last week, despite the new 13F filing showing a lower number. Based on current prices, that is more than $5.5 billion, and it is more than 10% of the Phillips 66 shares outstanding. This stake previously had been classified as an elimination in 2015 and then was shown after Buffett got the stake classified with the SEC as confidential.

The full list of additional Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway stock holdings as of December 31, 2015, is as follows: