Warren Buffett Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB) bought Paramount Global (PARA) for the first time during the stock market turmoil in the first quarter, while two drug stocks were sold outright.
What Warren Buffett bought sold in the first quarter
Buffett’s Berkshire has acquired nearly 69 million shares of Paramount Global valued at more than $2.6 billion, according to the latest 13F filed late Monday and tracked by whalewisdom.com. Small but growing streaming service Paramount+ is a rival to Netflix and Disney+. Paramount stock rose 15.3% to 32.32 on Tuesday.
During the first quarter, Berkshire also opened $3 billion worth of stakes in Beatdown Citigroup (C) and valued at $390 million ally finance (ALLY) when exiting a small remaining position in Well Fargo (WFC). Citigroup and Ally Financial shares rose 7.6% and 6.2%, respectively, on Tuesday.
The conglomerate also took a new position in cancer drug maker Keytruda note (MCK) when reducing Royal Pharma (RPRX). It also dumped Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY) and AbbVie (ABBV) completely after these drug stocks were continuously reduced. In addition, bought it Celanese (C) and mark (MKL) for the first time.
Merck is in a buying range after clearing an entry from 89.58 in a Cup with handle base.
Berkshire Hathaway became an active stock buyer during last quarter’s volatility, particularly in the final six weeks of the quarter, after a long period of muted buying.
Participation was further expanded rafters (CVX) and added nearly 121 million shares. It has also grown Western Petroleum (OXY) down nearly 6 million shares with oil prices near highs.
The conglomerate added 3.8 million shares in the top holding Apple (AAPL) during the tech stock sell-off in the first quarter, bringing the total number of Apple shares held to 890.9 million. It collected around 50 million more shares of Activision Blizzard (ATVI) too.
In addition, Buffett added freedom media (FWONK), floor & decor (FND), General Motors (GM) and RH (RH) in Q1. It hit a stake Verizon (VZ) by 99% and also reduced save capital (STOR) and Kroger (KR) last quarter.
The 13F filing is a required disclosure for institutional investors that manage more than $100 million in assets. Some investors use 13F submissions to gauge how the “smart money” is performing in the stock market.
Top Berkshire Hathaway Stock Holdings
Apple stock aside, Berkshire’s recent 13F filing showed that top holdings in Warren Buffett’s Dow-heavy portfolio held steady during the tech-driven sell-off in the first quarter.
Bank of America (BAK), American Express (AXP), Coke (KO) and Kraft Heinz (KHC) are among Berkshire’s largest holdings. A smaller but notable involvement is Amazon (AMZN).
The conglomerate made no changes to those holdings in the first quarter.
Investment legend Warren Buffett has a long-standing track record of beating the market with his picks. The Berkshire boss is typically a buy-and-hold investor, holding on to stocks for years or even decades. The outfit, for example, has been a permanent fixture in Coca-Cola stock since the first quarter of 2001.
In 2021, Berkshire Hathaway played mostly defense as the stock market marched higher while its hefty cash stack remained elevated. Buffett famously hates overpaying for stocks or companies.
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In the first quarter, he “bought the dip,” heavily betting that energy prices will remain elevated. Berkshire’s combined investment in Occidental and Chevron was worth more than $39 billion at the end of the first quarter, a relatively large investment in the energy sector.
“The acceleration in investment activity came as a welcome surprise,” wrote Edward Jones analyst James Shanahan in an April 30 note.
In the first quarter, Berkshire’s net stock purchases exceeded $41 billion versus 2021 net sales of $7 billion, Shanahan said. It also repurchased $3.2 billion worth of Berkshire stock. Amid those moves, cash on hand shrank by $40 billion from the end of 2021 to $106 billion at the end of March.
Shares of Berkshire’s B-class stock rose 1.8% today amid a broad rally in the stock market. Apple stock gained 2.5%.
Find Aparna Narayanan on Twitter at @IBD_Aparna.
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