Oracle Watch: Warren Buffett’s Top 10 Favorite Stocks
While Warren Buffett’s cash pile is sitting at record highs, the legendary investor continues to hold significant positions in some of the world’s most well-known companies. Courtesy of a new filing, we now have a peek at how the Oracle of Omaha deployed capital in the second-quarter.
Many institutional investment managers recently filed their mandatory 13-F with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The filing is a quarterly report of equity holdings required by managers that oversee more than $100 million in qualifying assets and must be filed within 45 days of the end of each quarter. The 13-F provides a glance at what firms did in the previous quarter, but investors should keep in mind that hedging and trading strategies of each fund are still unknown.
Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRKA) made several changes during the second-quarter. The company raised its stakes in the following blue chips: Verizon (NYSE:VZ), Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Visa (NYSE:V), and International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM). It also raised its stake in General Motors (NYSE:GM) to $1.2 billion, and added a new position in Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) worth $365.7 million. Berkshire reduced positions in ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX), and DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV).
Berkshire’s largest investments include some of the most popular blue chips known to Wall Street. Let’s take a look at Berkshire’s top ten holdings, according to dollar value at the end of June. This list does not include Buffett’s option to purchase 700 million shares of Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) at any time prior to September 2021 for $5 billion.
10. Moody’s (NYSE:MCO)
YTD: 16.8 percent
Since Berkshire trimmed its stake in DIRECTV, Moody’s became the firm’s tenth largest holding. At the end of the second-quarter, Berkshire held 24.7 million shares of the ratings agency, worth $2.2 billion.
9. DaVita Healthcare Partners (NYSE:DVA)
YTD: 15.4 percent
During the second-quarter, Berkshire kept its stake in DaVita unchanged at 37.6 million shares, worth about $2.7 billion. While Buffett is typically responsible for billion-dollar positions at Berkshire, he is not likely responsible for this investment. Ted Weschler, one of Buffett’s hand-selected portfolio managers, is the major bull behind DaVita. Weschler joined Berkshire in early 2012, but records show that he has been investing in the healthcare company for more than a decade.
8. U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB)
YTD: 3 percent
The Minnesota-based bank continues to be a favorite with Buffett as Berkshire increased its stake yet again to about 80.1 million shares during the during the second-quarter, worth $3.5 billion. In comparison, the position was worth $2.9 billion in the fourth-quarter of 2013, and $3.4 billion in the previous quarter.
7. Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM)
YTD: -2.1 percent
Exxon Mobil, the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, is a relatively new position for Berkshire, but already one of its biggest. Berkshire held 41.1 million shares at the end of the second-quarter, unchanged from the prior quarter. The total position was worth about $4.1 billion at the end of June.
6. Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG)
YTD: .70 percent
During the second-quarter, Berkshire kept its stake in Procter & Gamble unchanged at 52.8 million shares, worth $4.1 billon. While shares finished 2013 near 52-week highs, they are relatively flat this year. However, Procter & Gamble recently announced plans to rid itself of more than half its brands in an effort to focus on growth opportunities.
YTD: -5.5 percent
Berkshire increased its stake in the world’s largest retailer to 58.8 million shares in the first-quarter, up from about 58.1 million shares in the prior quarter. Berkshire’s total position was worth $4.4 billion at the end of June. Wal-Mart has struggled to lure customers into stores this year and recently lowered its full-year guidance, but Buffett typically takes a longer term view with his major investments.
4. International Business Machines
YTD: .20 percent
The information technology company is one of the most influential blue chips in the market, and one of Buffett’s biggest holdings. Berkshire increased its stake to 70.2 million shares by the end of the second-quarter, worth $12.7 billion. During the first three months of the year, Berkshire held 68.4 million shares.
3. American Express (NYSE:AXP)
YTD: 3.8 percent
Although Berkshire increased its stake in Visa, American Express remains Berkshire’s favorite payment services company. Berkshire held 151.6 million shares of the credit card giant at the end of the second-quarter, unchanged from the previous quarter and worth $14.4 billion.
2. Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO)
YTD: -2.7 percent
Coca-Cola is known as one of Buffett’s favorite stocks. In fact, Buffett is on record saying he will never sell his shares in the world renowned beverage company. At the end of the second-quarter, Berkshire held 400 million shares, worth $16.9 billion.
1. Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC)
YTD: 11 percent
The nation’s most profitable bank is also Buffett’s top holding. Berkshire held 463.5 million shares of Wells Fargo at the end of the second-quarter, unchanged from the previous quarter. At the end of June, the total position was worth an impressive $24.4 billion.
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