Warren Buffett has earned a reputation as one of the greatest investors of the modern era. He has built an impressive track record over the last 70 years as a professional investor. Buffett’s investment strategy has been studied by investors for decades, and it has borne fruit for Buffett and for Berkshire Hathaway shareholders; he has built up a net worth of over $100 Billion, while Berkshire Hathaway is worth over $680B and is one of the biggest companies in the global stock market.
It’s not surprising that investors pay close attention to the stocks that Buffett holds in his portfolio. Included as part of Berkshire Hathaway’s Form 13F filing, Buffett’s stock picks can often move markets as investors and traders see which way the Oracle of Omaha is leaning.
This article will share which stocks Warren Buffett is buying, holding, and selling, as well as things investors can learn from the 13F.
A Couple of Caveats About Following Warren Buffett’s Stock Portfolio
Before jumping into the list of stocks Warren Buffett owns, we should call out a couple of immediate caveats.
First, Warren Buffett’s holdings are revealed as part of Berkshire Hathaway’s Form 13F filing. That means it does not only include selections Buffett makes himself, but the picks of two long-time investment managers at the firm, Todd Combs and Ted Weschler. So it’s important to note that unless Buffett takes credit or blame for a specific pick, a stock in Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio may not be his selection.
Second, Berkshire Hathaway’s business is designed for Buffett to be able to buy stocks in almost any environment. Much of the company’s investing power is fueled by ‘float’ from its insurance companies, meaning the money that an insurance company holds in reserve to pay out claims to policyholders. As long as the insurance companies Berkshire Hathaway owns – Geico, Berkshire Hathaway Insurance, and General Re, among others – are growing their premiums, Berkshire Hathaway will have more money to invest in the market or to acquire companies completely.
And lastly, the reports of Buffett’s holdings come only 45 days after they are filed, meaning they may have changed in the interim. Buffett is a long-term investor – his favorite period to hold a stock is ‘forever’, he has famously said – but there are no promises. Buffett’s position as one of the biggest investors by portfolio size in the world also means his strategy, aims, and needs may be different than those of individual investors.
Still, there can be a lot to learn from his picks, and investors love to follow the 13F news each quarter when they are released. The following breakdown is as of September 30th 2022, and will be updated each quarter.
Warren Buffett’s biggest holdings
Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio does not show a lot of turnover from quarter to quarter, reflecting Buffett’s long-term investing strategy.
Berkshire’s biggest position is in Apple Inc. (AAPL). The position was 41.8% of Berkshire’s portfolio as of the latest 13F, a huge position for the company and for Buffett, who once was famous for not investing in technology companies. As of this writing, Apple is up more than 10% since the last filing, so the position size – $123.6B at the time – is likely to have only grown.
In his 2022 shareholder letter, Buffett called Apple one of the four giants of the entire Berkshire Hathaway operation. He wrote, “It’s important to understand that only dividends from Apple are counted in the GAAP earnings Berkshire reports – and last year, Apple paid us $785 million of those. Yet our “share” of Apple’s earnings amounted to a staggering $5.6 billion.”
It’s a big drop to his next biggest position, Bank of America (BAC). That is a 10.3% position for Berkshire Hathaway, good for $30.5B worth. This position started as a preferred stock and warrants position that Buffett picked up in 2011, amidst fear over the U.S. debt ceiling. Berkshire then converted that to a common stock position in 2017, and has both increased the number of shares it owns (44% increase) and seen the total value increase by 6x.
Chevron (CVX) has risen to be Berkshire’s 3rd biggest stock. Buffett has been buying oil and energy stocks quite a lot in the last year, including Chevron. Occidental Petroleum (OXY) is another major position Buffett added to over the course of the year. Berkshire outperformed the market in part due to this energy exposure.
Rounding out the top five positions are Coca-Cola (KO) and American Express (AXP). The two industry giants have been long-time staples of Buffett’s portfolio and his legend, given his opportunistic buying of American Express after the ‘salad oil scandal’, and his constant touting of Coca-Cola not only as a stock but as a product.
Warren Buffett’s dividend stocks
It’s not a big surprise that Buffett holds several dividend stocks given his long-term investing strategy. It may come as a surprise if you consider that Buffett himself prefers share buybacks to dividends, which aligns with how he runs Berkshire Hathaway.
Nevertheless, Berkshire Hathaway’s stocks in its portfolio are more likely to be dividend stocks than not. Each of the five biggest stocks mentioned above pays a dividend, with Apple’s dividend amounting to $785M to Berkshire Hathaway in 2021. In his shareholder letter written last year, Buffett praised Apple CEO Tim Cook’s share buyback policy and his “managerial touch” from a shareholder perspective. Chevron is another example of a firm launching a major share buyback campaign.
Other dividend stocks in Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio include (yield figures as of February 15th, 2023):
- Kraft Heinz (KHC) – 4.1% dividend yield
- HPQ (HP) – 3.5%
- Bank of New York Mellon (BK) – 2.9%
- Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) – 2.8%
- Procter & Gamble (PG) – 2.6%
In total, 32 of the 47 stocks reported in Berkshire Hathaway’s Form 13F filing are dividend payers.
The latest stocks Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway are buying
In Q4 2022, Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway were not really buyers, and did not open any new positions. They added to the following stocks:
Louisiana-Pacific Corporation (LPX): After opening a position in this lumber and housing related company in Q3, Berkshire added another 1M plus shares to their position, growing the stake by 20%. Louisiana-Pacific makes wood siding for houses as well as oriented strand board (OSB). The company benefited from a lumber pricing boom in 2021 and 2022, and while that might fade, it has invested in a large share buyback over the last two years, again aligning with Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway’s investing philosophy.
Berkshire Hathaway’s stake in Apple grew, as mentioned above, though it may have been the giant shareholder equivalent of reinvesting dividend proceeds into the same position.
Berkshire Hathaway’s stake in Paramount Global (PARA) also grew in Q4, though again not by a large amount. Paramount Global is a global streaming and media company, and is considered one of the more ‘legacy’ brands in a space dominated by Netflix (NFLX) and Disney (DIS). Berkshire’s position has drawn doubters, and the streaming space is very competitive. That could also mean consolidation, i.e. that someone buys legacy companies like Paramount Global, which Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway would likely appreciate.
Berkshire Hathaway’s latest sells
Berkshire Hathaway did not close any major positions – i.e. sell the entire position – but it did make some meaningful reductions.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSM): The global semiconductor company went from being Berkshire Hathaway’s biggest Q3 buy to one of its biggest sells, as Buffett’s company acquired over 60 million shares of the semiconductor company in Q4 but reduced that stake to just over 8M shares, an 86% reduction. Taiwan Semiconductor shares jumped 5% after news broke of Buffett’s position, and traded down as much after hours on the news that Berkshire reduced its positions. Taiwan Semiconductor is the global leader in manufacturing semiconductors, and it’s another example of how Buffett’s investing has evolved to include technology stocks, and how even though the firm’s ideal holding period is ‘forever’, things don’t always work that way.
U.S. Bancorp was another major sell for Berkshire Hathaway, as Buffett’s firm sold $3.1B worth of shares, after selling $1.6B worth in the prior quarter. Berkshire sold $1.7B of Bank of New York Mellon, amounting to more than half of the company’s position in the bank.
The other notable sell was of Activision Blizzard (ATVI) shares, as Berkshire Hathaway trimmed its position in the company for the second straight quarter. Berkshire still had over $4.4B worth of shares in the gaming company, which despite its connection to the tech sector is actually a throwback position for Buffett and the firm. Activision Blizzard agreed to be acquired by Microsoft (MSFT) in the beginning of 2022, in a deal expected to close in mid 2023. At the same time, many investors doubt the deal will go through due to antitrust concerns, leaving a wide spread between the price of Activision Blizzard’s shares and the agreed-to price with Microsoft ($95/share, vs. the February 15, 2023 closing price of $76.5).
In Buffett’s early career, he made a lot of money on ‘special situation’ investing, investing in stocks where the value would be realized through a specific event or catalyst. While his style evolved more towards long-term holding of companies with strong moats, that was in part a function of how big Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio got, making special situations harder to invest in.
Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is an exception given it is a $68.7B deal if it goes through. That leaves plenty of room for Berkshire Hathaway to take a sizable position that will actually have an impact on the business. In the case of Activision Blizzard, it may also be that shares will not drop significantly, at least over the long term, if the deal doesn’t go through, allowing it to become a more ‘typical’ Berkshire holding.
Find Warren Buffett’s Favorite Stocks
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To see his latest positions, his biggest buys and sells, and to get a neutral estimate of the fair value and thousands of data points on each stock in his Form 13F filing each quarter, so you can find the best stocks for your portfolio, check out InvestingPro+. The research tool makes it easy for you to follow the greatest investors in their world and see what they’re buying, how those picks are performing, and figure out whether those are good picks for you.