📖 Your Q2 Earnings Guide: Discover the Stocks ProPicks AI Highlights to Jump Post-EarningsRead more

Berkshire sheds GM, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble as it amasses cash

Published 11/14/2023, 09:24 PM
Updated 11/15/2023, 01:21 PM
© Reuters. Berkshire Hathaway logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., May 10, 2023.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

By Jonathan Stempel

(Reuters) - Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRKa) said it has shed its holdings in General Motors (NYSE:GM), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), and trimmed its stake in Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), as the conglomerate controlled by Warren Buffett boosted its cash pile to a record $157.2 billion.

In a regulatory filing on Tuesday that described its U.S.-listed stock holdings as of Sept. 30, Berkshire reported no holdings in GM, J&J and P&G, after reporting respective stakes of $848 million, $54 million, and $48 million in June.

Berkshire also sold its $621 million stake in specialty materials company Celanese (NYSE:CE), and its small holdings of food company Mondelez (NASDAQ:MDLZ) International and United Parcel Service (NYSE:UPS). Its stake in Amazon fell by 5%.

One new position was an $8 million stake in Atlanta Braves Holdings, which indirectly controls the Major League Baseball team and The Battery Atlanta, a mixed-use development next to the Braves' Truist Park.

The Braves had been split off from Liberty Media, another Berkshire investment, in July.

Tuesday's filing detailed investments that comprised most of Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire's equity portfolio, which totaled $318.6 billion as of Sept. 30.

Berkshire sold $7 billion of stocks, including some of its big investment in Chevron (NYSE:CVX), and bought just $1.7 billion in the third quarter, a down period for its stock holdings led by Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), whose share price fell 12%.

For all of 2023, Berkshire has sold $23.6 billion more stocks than it has bought.

The net sales contributed to Berkshire's record cash hoard, which is about the same size as its $156.8 billion Apple stake.


Berkshire's filing does not say which investments are Buffett's, or which are from his portfolio managers Todd Combs and Ted Weschler.

Larger investments are normally Buffett's, and investors often try to piggyback on Berkshire's trading, reflecting the billionaire's reputation as one of the world's greatest investors.

To that end, Berkshire decided not to disclose one or more of its holdings, and said it has asked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for confidential treatment.

Berkshire has occasionally requested such treatment for major investments, including multibillion-dollar stakes in IBM (NYSE:IBM) and Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) more than a decade ago. Neither appears to be a current Berkshire investment.

In other third-quarter sales, Berkshire finished exiting video game maker Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI), which Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) bought last month, and reduced its holdings in professional services company Aon (NYSE:AON) and life insurer Globe Life (NYSE:GL).

Berkshire also shed two-thirds of its stake in Markel (NYSE:MKL) Group, a notable change given that some investors have viewed the insurance and investment company as a "mini-Berkshire."

© Reuters. Berkshire Hathaway logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., May 10, 2023.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

Buffett, 93, has run Berkshire since 1965.

His conglomerate also owns dozens of businesses including the Geico car insurer, BNSF railroad, energy and industrial companies, and consumer brands such as Benjamin Moore, Dairy Queen, Duracell, Fruit of the Loom and See's Candies.

Latest comments

Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.
© 2007-2024 - Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.