Changes to Berkshire Hathaway’s Portfolio During the Second Quarter of 2012

In its SEC 13F filing on August 14, 2012, Berkshire Hathaway revealed several significant changes to its equity portfolio that were made during the second quarter.  The largest addition was the purchase of 16.7 million shares of Wells Fargo (WFC) with a current market value of $570 million.  This resulted in an increase of 4% in Berkshire’s stake in the company. The second largest purchase was for 12.7 million shares of Phillips 66 (PSX), currently valued at $525 million.  This increased Berkshire’s holdings by 88%.  The third largest purchase was for 3.3 million shares of DaVita (DVA), currently valued at $325 million, increasing Berkshire’s stake by 55%.

Berkshire’s largest sales during the second quarter were 18.7 million shares of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) ($1.3 billion, 64% of stake), 13.7 million shares of Procter & Gamble (PG) ($920 million, 19% of stake), and 19.2 million shares of Kraft (KFT) ($780 million, 25% of stake).

Warren Buffett has been adding to his Wells Fargo holdings every year since 2005.   The additions to Berkshire’s holdings in Phillips 66 and Davita were most likely investments by recently hired portfolio managers Todd Combs and Ted Weschler.   The sales of shares in Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, and Kraft were apparently decisions made by Warren Buffett.

Since the 13F report did not mention that confidential information had been omitted, then most likely Warren Buffett was not accumulating a large position in one or more companies during the second quarter.   Last year Berkshire received confidential treatment while it was accumulating $11 billion of IBM.

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