Recently, 24/7 Wall St. had a good look at the latest changes in the Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway holdings.
The most recent changes came as part of a new Buffett SEC filing:
Being the wealthiest man in the world on paper tends to draw some attention. This is why investors and outsiders watch new equity investment positions taken by, or sold by, Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A). The public U.S.-traded equity holdings for the period ended March 31, 2016 were listed as $128.569 billion.
Based on the SEC document, these are Warren Buffett’s favorite tech stocks:
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was listed as a NEW POSITION, with 9,811,747 shares worth some $1.069 billion at the end of the first quarter. Apple’s stock price has fallen since, and it is worth noting that a $1 billion stake in Apple is larger than most of the portfolio managers place for their first purchase. Still, this was a stake taken by one of Buffett’s portfolio managers rather than Buffett himself.
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) was again a larger stake as Buffett himself keeps averaging his cost basis lower. The latest stake is 81.232 million shares, worth some $12.3 billion on March 31. Despite a handy bounce from the lows, IBM has remained a serious thorn in Mr. Buffett’s side, particularly as this stake was his own choosing.
This stake has been raised and raised, but it had been kept static at 81.03 million shares as of December 31. This IBM stake was about 79.5 million shares as of the end of last June, and the end of 2014 position was 76.971 million IBM shares.
VeriSign Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN) was a tad larger at 13.044 million shares, up from a stake that had been static at 12.985 million shares. This one had previously grown in 2014.
Verisk Analytics Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSK) was the same position at 1,563,434 shares, but that is lower than in prior quarters.
In some quarters, the world’s largest telecom companies have been added to the tech sector because of the wireless networks and high fiber to the home and business operations. Buffett made one addition and one subtraction in the sector:
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) was the same stake at 15 million shares at the end of March, but that had been raised a year earlier.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) was no longer listed as a stake held by Berkshire Hathaway, after having been diminished previously. It really tied back to a stake of DirecTV before the AT&T-DirecTV merger with a stake of 59.32 million shares initially. As of the end of 2015, AT&T’s stake was down by 12.74 million shares to 46.577 million shares.
Many outsiders believe that the Buffett position in Apple signals the largest increase on his part in tech. If so, the filing for the current quarter should show he has increased that position or perhaps moved into other huge tech stocks.