Canadian Manufacturing

Warren Buffett cuts IBM stake in half, bumps up Apple holdings

by Josh Funk, The Associated Press   

Canadian Manufacturing
Financing Manufacturing Operations Regulation

Besides investments, Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. owns more than 90 companies, including insurance, retail, manufacturing, railroad and candy companies

OMAHA, Neb.—Warren Buffett’s company sold almost a third of its remaining IBM shares in the third quarter and made several tweaks to its stock investments.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. on Nov. 14 filed a quarterly snapshot of its portfolio with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Investors watch Berkshire’s filings closely because of Buffett’s successful record.

The company sold off nearly 32 per cent of its remaining IBM shares to leave it with 37 million shares at the end of the quarter. Before this spring, Berkshire held more than 80 million IBM shares.

Berkshire officials don’t generally comment on the quarterly filings or the reasons for their portfolio moves.


But Buffett has said that International Business Machines Corp. hasn’t performed the way he expected since he first bought shares in 2011. IBM’s stock rose to $215 in March 2013 but closed Nov. 14 at just under $149, a decline of more than 30 per cent, as the company has faced stiff competition in the cloud computing business from Microsoft and Amazon.

The quarterly filings with the SEC don’t make clear who made all the investments at Berkshire. But Buffett handles the biggest investments in Berkshire’s portfolio, such as Coca-Cola and Wells Fargo while investments of less than $1 billion are likely to be the work of Berkshire’s two other investment managers.

The latest quarter is the first since Berkshire exercised the Bank of America warrants it received in 2011 when Buffett invested $5 billion in the bank. Berkshire reported holding 679 million Bank of America shares at the end of September.

During the quarter, Berkshire also picked up nearly four million more Apple shares to give it 134 million shares of the iPhone maker.

Berkshire also boosted its investment in Synchrony Financial to 20.8 million shares, up from 17.5 million in June.

The Omaha, Nebraska, based conglomerate Buffett leads also added to its Monsanto investment.

And it trimmed its stakes in Wells Fargo and Charter Communications.

Besides investments, Berkshire owns more than 90 companies, including insurance, retail, manufacturing, railroad and candy companies.


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