Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB) turned into an active buyer of stocks during the volatile first quarter, especially in the quarter’s final six weeks, after a long stretch of muted purchases.
Investors already know that Buffett’s Berkshire doubled down on Chevron (CVX) in Q1 and has been snapping up Occidental Petroleum (OXY) with oil prices near highs. The conglomerate also added to top holding Apple (AAPL) during the stock’s Q1 sell-off, and bought more shares of Activision Blizzard (ATVI).
What Warren Buffett Bought, Sold In Q1
But a regulatory 13F filing late Monday will detail changes to Warren Buffett’s Dow stocks-heavy portfolio, including what else it bought and what it sold, in Q1’s tech-led bloodbath.
Investing legend Warren Buffett has a long-term track record of beating the market with his picks. The Berkshire chief tends to be a buy-and-hold investor, with news of his buys and sells sometimes driving big stock moves.
In 2021, Berkshire Hathaway mostly played defense as the stock market marched higher, while its hefty cash pile remained elevated. Buffett famously hates overpaying for stocks or businesses.
In Q1, he “bought the dip,” betting big that energy prices will stay high. Berkshire’s total investment in Occidental and Chevron now exceeds $42 billion, a relatively large investment in the energy sector.
“The acceleration in investment activity has been a welcome surprise,” Edward Jones analyst James Shanahan wrote in an April 30 note. In Q1, Berkshire’s net stock buys exceeded $41 billion vs. net sales of $7 billion during 2021, Shanahan said. It also repurchased $3.2 billion of Berkshire shares. Amid those moves, its cash balance shrank by $40 billion from the end of 2021 to $106 billion at the end of March.
In recent quarters, Berkshire Hathaway cut or exited several drug and payment stocks. Investors will soon learn if Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY), AbbVie (ABBV) and Royalty Pharma (RPRX), as well as Visa (V) and Mastercard (MA) got further pared. The drug stocks saw especially big cuts in Q4 2021.
Top Berkshire Hathaway Stock Holdings
Besides Apple, Bank of America (BAC), American Express (AXP), Coca Cola (KO) and Kraft Heinz (KHC) count among Berkshire’s biggest stock holdings by value. A smaller but notable holding is Amazon (AMZN).
The quarterly 13F will soon show if the company added to any of those top holdings, after holding them steady in Q4 2021.
The regulatory filing is a required disclosure for institutional investors managing more than $100 million in assets. Some investors use 13F filings to assess how the “smart money” is betting in the stock market.
B-class shares of Berkshire stock edged up 0.3% on the stock market today. Apple stock traded effectively flat.
Check back for updates on Berkshire’s Q1 buys and sells after Monday’s close.
Find Aparna Narayanan on Twitter at @IBD_Aparna.
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