8:09p.m. EST February 14, 2013
Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B, BRK-A) and Warren Buffett may have surprised the markets with the $28 billion purchase of H.J. Heinz Company (HNZ) announced Thursday.
But there is more than just the latest deal announcement to consider. Stock markets have been rising in 2013 and Berkshire has been outperforming the broader market so far.
The conglomerate's most recent U.S.-listed equity holdings have been released. Berkshire Portfolio managers Todd Combs and Ted Weschler are getting even more entrenched as far as their ability to add to positions.
Berkshire's total equity holdings at the end of 2012 were $75.3 billion, more or less the same as the September quarter. Third-quarter eliminations from the portfolio, reported in November 2012, were CVS Caremark (CVS), Dollar General (DG), and Ingersoll Rand (IR).
While Heinz was not listed as a formal holding of Berkshire in its 13G securities filing for the fourth quarter, the Berkshire, 3G buyout of H.J. Heinz (HNZ), announced Thursday suggests the company will soon be a preferred holding of the Berkshire empire.
24/7 Wall St.com has grouped Berkshire's holdings as of Dec. 31, 2012, by stakes that increased, decreased, stayed the same or are new.
• Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) was listed as a new position of 5.95 million shares worth some $163.1 million as of the end of 2012.
• Mondelez International (MDLZ) is a new position but this is actually just part of the Kraft break-up. This is in four accounts but at a total of 12.84 million shares.
• VeriSign (VRSN) is listed as a new position of 3.685 million shares, which was worth $143 million at the end of the year and likely a new portfolio manager position rather than a Buffett decision.
• DaVita (DVA) was already more than a 10% stake, but the new filing shows that Buffett and various entities own a collective 13.6 million shares for a 13% stake.This position has grown and grown and is a larger stake. The stock price has risen and risen, while Buffett kept adding to the position.
• DirecTV (DTV) is a larger position again at almost 34 million shares vs. 29.56 million shares before that and it had grown another quarter before as well.
• General Motors (GM) is a larger stake again at 25 million shares, up from 15 million shares last quarter and 10 million shares two quarters ago.
• International Business Machines (IBM) was a larger position at over 68.1 million shares for a 6.03% stake, up from 67.5 million shares last quarter and up from prior quarters. This is now worth over $13.5 billion.
• Liberty Media (LMCA) was slightly higher at 5.62 million shares vs. 5.5 million shares last quarter.
• National Oilwell Varco (NOV) was a larger position at about 5.3 million shares vs. 4.18 million shares last quarter and vs. being a new position of 2.84 million shares two quarters ago.
• Precision Castparts (PCP) was a larger stake at roughly 2 million shares vs. being a new position of 1.25 million shares last quarter.
• WABCO Holdings (WBC) is a higher position of just over 4 million shares but that is higher than the prior quarter when it was a new position of about 1.6 million shares. This is now worth closer to $267 million as of the reported date.
• Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) was a higher stake at 47.5 million shares vs. 46.7 million shares last quarter.
• Washington Post (WPO) was the same position at over 1.72 million shares.
• Wells Fargo (WFC) was higher yet again at over 466 million shares for an 8.9% stake. This is up from 420 million shares last quarter and more than 394.3 million shares two quarters ago. Buffett has telegraphed that he keeps growing this stake, which is why 24/7 Wall St.com included it in its 2012 list of the seven safest banks in America.
• Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) was a smaller position again at only 327,100 shares; this is down substantially from quarters and years earlier.
• Kraft Foods Group (KRFT) had been lowered in previous quarters and due to the break-up, we are going to just give the nominal share count of 1,668,714 shares.
• Lee Enterprises (LEE) was already reduced and is down to only 88,863 shares. That is hardly worth mentioning.
No change in holdings:
• American Express (AXP) was roughly 151.6 million shares, same as last quarter.
• Bank of New York Mellon (BK) appears to be the same size at over 19.6 million shares, but that is after gains had been reported in prior quarters.
• Coca-Cola (KO) was more than 400 million shares due to the stock split of 2012, but this is virtually the same as before.
• ConocoPhillips (COP) is the same as before at 24.1 million shares, but this is lower than in prior quarters.
• Costco Wholesale (COST) was 4,333,363 shares, same as last quarter.
• Deere & Co. (DE) was the same as last quarter at roughly 4 million shares, but this was previously a new position.
• Gannett (GCI) was 1.74 million, same as before but decreased in prior quarters.
• General Dynamics (GD) is the same as before at 3.88 million shares.
• General Electric (GE) is listed as the same 588,900 shares, but this is still way down from the 5.01 million shares and 7.78 million shares the two prior quarters.
• GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is the same 1.51 million shares, same as prior quarters.
• M&T Bank (MTB) is 5.38 million-plus shares, same as last quarter.
• MasterCard (MA) was 405,000 shares, the same as last quarter.
• Media General (MEG) was the same position of 4.64 million shares.
• Moody's (MCO) was 28.4 million; same as last quarter but way down from prior quarters and years.
• Phillips 66 (PSX) was the same as last quarter at about 27.1 million shares after having been added in prior quarters after the Conoco spin-off.
• Procter & Gamble (PG) was the same 52.8 million shares but that had been lowered in 2012 from a prior peak of 96.3 million shares.
• Sanofi-Aventis (SNY) was 4.06 million shares; same as last quarter.
• Torchmark (TMK) was more than 4.2 million, same as last quarter.
• US Bancorp (USB) was the same as before at 61.2+ million shares but down from prior quarters.
• USG (USG) was 17.072 million shares; same as before.
• United Parcel Service (UPS) was the same 59,400 shares, but this is way down from 2012 and hardly worth the effort.
• Verisk Analytics (VRSK) was the same as before at 1,563,434 shares, but that is lower than prior quarters.
• Viacom (VIA) was the same position of 7.6 million-plus shares, but that had been raised in prior quarters.
• Visa (V) was the same position of 1.56 million shares but this is still lower than in 2012.