What’s Buffett Selling?

There were few surprises in wide-moat Berkshire Hathaway's second-quarter 13-F filing

Greggory Warren, CFA 17 August, 2020 | 2:47PM
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Warren Buffett
There were few surprises in wide-moat Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK.B) second-quarter 13-F filing. In fact, having known that the insurer eliminated its stakes in the four major airlines--American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines--as well as Goldman Sachs in early April, while picking up an additional 108 million shares of Bank of America since the start of the third quarter, makes the filing feel a bit dated. That said, there was a fair amount of trimming of, as well as additions to, existing share positions during the quarter, as well as a new-money purchase of Barrick Gold to consider.

Much like the first quarter, Berkshire was a net seller of stocks during the June quarter, reporting $10.9 billion in net proceeds from its purchases and sales in its recent 10-Q. Looking first at the purchases, Berkshire picked up 21 million shares of Barrick Gold for an estimated $470 million, and increased its stakes in Liberty Media SiriusXM, Store Capital, Kroger, and Suncor Energy. It should be noted, though, that each of these holdings accounted for less than 1% (if not less than 0.5%) of Berkshire's $202.4 billion portfolio at the end of the second quarter.

As for the sales, the largest was JPMorgan Chase, with Berkshire selling 36 million shares for an estimated $3.3 billion. The company also reduced its stake in Wells Fargo by close to a third, selling 86 million shares for an estimated $2.3 billion. There were also reductions in Berkshire's stakes in Visa and Mastercard, further reducing its commitment to financial services stocks during the quarter. Meanwhile, the sales of the four airline stocks netted the firm an estimated $5.2 billion, while the sales of shares of Charter Communications, Occidental Petroleum, Restaurant Brands, and SiriusXM radio likely brought in another $1 billion.

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About Author

Greggory Warren, CFA

Greggory Warren, CFA  Greggory Warren, CFA, is a financial services sector strategist for Morningstar.

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