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Friday, February 15, 2013

CNBC: Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hikes GM Stake by 67%

Published: Thursday, 14 Feb 2013 | 5:05 PM ET
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Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway increased its bet on General Motors, increasing its holdings by 67 percent in the final three months of last year.
The company's 13-F filing with the SEC shows Berkshire held 25 million shares on December 31, compared to 15 million as of September 30.
At today's closing price of $27.75, the additional 10 million shares are worth about $278 million. The total stake is worth $694 million, a relatively small holding for Berkshire.
Berkshire also reports a 4 percent increase in its Wells Fargo stake. While it's a smaller hike by percentage, the holdings are so big to start with that the new shares are worth over $609 million at today's close of $35.21.
The entire stake of 439.8 million shares is worth almost $15.5 billion, making it Berkshire's new top holding by market value. It tops Coca-Cola, the long-time number one, with a market value of $14.7 billion.
Berkshire has been consistently adding to its Wells Fargo stake while its Coca-Colaholdings have remain unchanged. Another factor: Wells shares are up 6.7 percent over the past three months, while Coke has dropped 2.9 percent.
Berkshire Hathaway Takes New Stakes
Berkshire Hathaway is taking new stakes, and also increasing its stake in General Motors, DirecTV and Precision Castparts.
Berkshire added new stakes for two companies, but the size of the holdings indicate the decision to buy was made by Berkshire's portfolio managers, not Buffett himself.
Verisign is one of the new additions. Berkshire owned 3,685,700 shares as of December 31. They're worth $168.3 million at today's close.
The other new name is Archer Daniels Midland with a stake of almost 6 million shares worth $187 million.
Other increases include:
  • Wabco Holdings: Up 155 percent to 4,071,925 shares, worth $279.6 million.
  • Precision Castparts: Up 58 percent to 1,977,336 million shares, worth $365 million.
  • National Oilwell Varco: Up 26 percent to 5,294,800 shares, worth $372 million.
  • Directv: Up 15 percent to 34,037,500 shares, worth $1.7 billion.
  • Wal-Mart: Up 2 percent to 47,501,182 shares, worth $3.4 billion.
  • IBM: Up 1 percent to 68,115,484 shares, worth $13.6 billion.
  • Liberty Media: Up 2 percent to 5,622,340 shares, worth $601 million.
Berkshire decreased its stakes in two companies:
The total market value of Berkshire's reported holdings didn't change much, slipping to $75,313,620,000 as of December 31, compared to $75,326,633,000 on September 30.

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