By Justin Baer in New York
Published: August 15 2008 19:11 | Last updated: August 15 2008 19:11
Mr Buffett’s timely investments have helped the billionaire amass one of the world’s largest fortunes and win the devotion of legions of disciples eager to mimic the Sage of Omaha’s stock picks. NRG’s shares had jumped more than 4 per cent by midday Friday in New York, while Anheuser-Busch was little changed.
Mr Buffett, who reported the latest quarterly changes to his portfolio of US stocks in a regulatory filing late on Thursday, also made an undisclosed transaction involving his shares of ConocoPhillips.
US securities regulators permit Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate controlled by Mr Buffett, to omit certain transactions from the quarterly list and report them in a separate, confidential filing.
Berkshire has disclosed that it owned 17.5m shares of ConocoPhillips. In Thursday’s filing with the ÛS Securities & Exchange Commission, the stake disappeared from its list of investments. The stock slipped more than 2 per cent.
Mr Buffett also added to his positions in Ingersoll-Rand, a maker of refrigeration gear, and Sanofi Aventis, the French drugmaker. Meanwhile, Ingersoll had acquired Trane, another Berkshire holding as of March. Berkshire owned 3.2m shares of NRG on June 30. The conglomerate reduced its stake in Anheuser to about 13.8m shares during the period from 35.6m in March, according to the SEC filing.
Anheuser’s shares had surged more than 29 per cent during those three months as Belgium’s InBev made an unsolicited bid for its US rival. The company agreed to the sale at $70 a share in July. The stock now trades at about $68.
Berkshire has said that its quarterly profit fell 7.6 per cent to $2.88bn, or $1,859 per class A share, amid a slump in its insurance-underwriting division. Gains from investments and derivatives totalled $610m during the period.
Unrealised gains on investments, or the value those securities that Berkshire has not sold, dropped by $10.7bn during the first six months of the year.
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