Investing

Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway Reveal Top Stocks for 2018

Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) was a big stake in equities that had been relatively new, but it was actually after Berkshire Hathaway converted its debt. That stake is a massive 679,000,000 shares.

Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) was the same 400 million shares, which is a stake that has not changed in many years.

International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) was Buffett’s own first tech stock to buy, but he’s been gradually selling IBM shares lower and lower. Buffett sold almost 35 million shares during the fourth quarter of 2017, and the old 37.03 million shares at the end of the third quarter went down to just 2.048 million shares at the end of December of 2017.

Kraft Heinz Co. (NASDAQ: KHC) is also a continued massive holding that is outside of the normal bookkeeping in the largest stock holdings. Berkshire Hathaway currently holds 325.634 million shares of Kraft Heinz.

The large stake in Phillips 66 Co. (NYSE: PSX) simply does not matter at this point, as far as what was said in the 13F filing. It was just released in the past day that Buffett sold off a $3 billion or so stake to get back under the 10% effective ownership regulatory hurdle.

Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) was a stake that 24/7 Wall St. has seen shrink marginally after the regulatory woes, and that stake is now 6 million shares lower after having been cut by about 3.75 million in the prior quarter. It’s now a stake of 458.2 million 464.2 million shares.

Several companies saw their stakes added to or saw some selling over the third quarter:

  • Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (NYSE: BK) was a raised stake, by almost 10.6 million shares, to 60.818 million shares.
  • General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) was a lower stake, with Team Buffett selling 10 million shares, down to a 50 million share stake.
  • Monsanto Co. (NYSE: MON) was raised again, with a gain to just over 11.7 million shares at the end of 2017. This was a stake of 8.87 million shares at the end of the third quarter and up from 8.04 million shares the previous quarter.
  • Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA) was listed as a new stake, and the troubled generic pharma stake is roughly 18.875 million American depositary shares.
  • U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) was a stake that was raised marginally in percentage terms, up to up to 87.06 million from 85.06 million shares.

More changes and additional holdings have been highlighted below.

Buffett and his portfolio managers still held rather large airline stakes as of December 31, with only a minor change:

  • American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ: AAL) is a slightly smaller stake by a million shares, down to roughly 46 million shares.
  • Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) was the same 53.11 million shares as the third quarter.
  • Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) was the same 47.66 million shares as in the third quarter.
  • United Continental Holdings Inc. (NYSE: UAL) is 28.21 million shares as in the third quarter.

Other stocks still held by Berkshire Hathaway as of December 31, 2017, have been listed by name only. These effectively comprise the long-term holdings, with some slight changes over time:

Axalta Coating Systems Ltd. (NYSE: AXTA)

Charter Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR)

Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST)

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