OMAHA, Neb. – Investor Warren Buffett’s company sold some of its Goldman Sachs and Wal-Mart shares during the third quarter, and made several smaller changes to its stock portfolio.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. filed a report on its U.S. stocks Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Buffett told CNBC on Monday that the main reason he reduced Berkshire’s stakes in Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was to generate cash for his $32 billion acquisition of Precision Castparts Corp. that’s expected to close next year.
Buffett did not immediately respond to questions from the AP Monday about the moves made by his Omaha, Nebraska-based conglomerate.
Berkshire sold 13 per cent of its 12.6 million Goldman shares and unloaded 7 per cent of its 60.4 million Wal-Mart shares between the end of June and the end of September. Buffett told CNBC that he still likes both those companies.
Many investors like to copy Buffett’s moves because of his remarkably successful record, so these quarterly filings are watched closely.
These combined filings include investments made by two other executives at the company, so it’s not always clear whether Buffett made the decisions. Buffett has said previously that investments smaller than $300 million are likely to be the work of other Berkshire managers.
But Berkshire’s purchase of nearly 1.5 million more shares of IBM stock was almost certainly Buffett’s. He has said before that he was responsible for buying what is now 81 million shares of International Business Machines Corp.
Buffett has periodically added to Berkshire’s IBM stake since he first disclosed it in late 2011 because he believes in its long-term prospects. So the fact that IBM’s stock price has fallen nearly 24 per cent since April likely looks like a buying opportunity to Buffett.
Besides those major investments, Berkshire also reported changes in some of its other holdings, including:
— Adding 9 million shares of General Motors Co. to give Berkshire 50 million shares.
— Eliminating 5.6 million shares of Viacom Inc. shares
— Nearly doubling its stake in Liberty Media Corp. to 23.2 million shares from 12 million in June.
— Increasing its Twenty First Century Fox Inc. holdings to nearly 9 million shares from 6.2 million.
— Acquiring 59 million shares of AT&T Inc. after the merger of AT&T and DirecTV, which Berkshire had held previously.
Besides investments in companies such as Coca-Cola Co., Wells Fargo & Co. and American Express Co., Berkshire owns about 90 subsidiaries in a variety of industries, including insurance, utilities, railroads, retail and manufacturing.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc.: www.berkshirehathaway.com
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