Back in 2018, Berkshire Hathaway issued a press release confirming that “some 10% stakes” had been sold and others had been increased in areas around the companies to avoid the SEC’s 10% threshold for filings and restrictions. That release said:
These buy and sell decisions did not reflect our investment management’s views as to the relative attractiveness of the bought and sold securities but were rather a response to the 10% limitation. Similar situations may occur in future quarterly reports as Berkshire continues to have 9% plus holdings in a number of equity securities that are active repurchasers of their shares.
There may have been other slight changes made in the Berkshire Hathaway holdings, but the main changes in positions and the new position additions and deletions as of December 31, 2018, have been shown below.
American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ: AAL) was the same stake of 43.7 million shares, but that was down from 44.7 million shares earlier in 2018.
Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (NYSE: BK) increased to 80.94 million shares at the end of December, up from 77.85 million shares at the end of September and from 64.8 million shares in June.
DaVita Inc. (NYSE: DVA) was a stake of 38.565 million shares, same as in September.
Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) was the same stake of 65.54 million shares as in September, but that had been up from 63.67 million shares in June and even higher than it had been in March.
General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) was a larger stake of 72.27 million shares in December, up from 52.46 million shares in September and from 51.39 million shares in June.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) was the same 18.35 million shares as it was at the end of September 2018 but handily above the levels seen earlier in 2018.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) was listed as a new stake in September, but at the end of December it was 50.12 million shares, versus a September stake of 35.66 million shares.
Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL) had been a new stake of 41.4 million shares as of the end of September, but the December filing does not include Oracle in the 13 filing at all.
Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX) was down to 11.9 million shares at the end of 2018, lower than the 15.43 million shares in September and far lower than the 34.7 million shares when Buffett decided to get out from under the 10% SEC holding threshold.
PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE: PNC) increased to 8.26 million shares in December from 6.09 million in September.
RedHat Inc. (NYSE: RHT) was listed as a new stake of 4.18 million shares at the end of 2018, but this may be an arbitrage play on the IBM merger spread. Buffett and his team have made similar merger-arb transactions in the past.
Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) was 54.85 million shares at the end of 2018, down from 56.05 million shares in September and 56.54 million shares at the end of June.
StoneCo Ltd. (NASDAQ: STNE), a fintech company, is a new stake of about 14.17 million shares as of the end of 2018.
Suncor Energy Inc. (NYSE: SU) was a new stake of 10.76 million shares.
Travelers Companies Inc. (NYSE: TRV) was increased to 5.96 million shares at the end of December, after it had been a new stake of 3.54 million shares at the end of September.
United Continental Holdings Inc. (NYSE: UAL) was 21.94 million shares, down from the 25.98 million shares in September, and down from 26.684 million shares in June and 27.7 million shares in March.
U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) was 129.31 million shares at the end of December, up from 124.92 million shares in September and 100.69 million shares at the end of June.