Berkshire’s Portfolio Changes During First Quarter 2013

In its SEC 13-F filing for the first quarter 2013, Berkshire Hathaway revealed numerous changes to its portfolio.  The largest addition was an increase of $700 million to its position in Wells Fargo (WFC).  WFC is Berkshire’s largest common stock investment with a value of $16.9 billion as of March 31, 2013.  Warren Buffett has held a large position in WFC since 1990, and has added to his position every year since 2005.  The second largest investment during the first quarter was in an initial position in Chicago Bridge & Iron (CBI, $390 million).  Other increases to existing positions  include VeriSign (VRSN, $220 million), DirecTV (DTV, $194 million), DaVita (DVA, $168 million), National Oilwell Varco (NOV, $154 million), and Wal-Mart (WMT, $140 million).

The largest reduction was in General Dynamics (GD, $275 million) which was eliminated from Berkshire’s portfolio.  Berkshire also sold its entire position in Archer Daniels Midland (ADM, $163 million) and reduced its investment in Mondelez (MDLZ, $175 million).

The portfolio changes to WFC, WMT, and MDLZ are believed to have been made by Warren Buffett, since his initial positions generally exceed $1 billion, and these investments were made prior to the arrival of his portfolio mangers, Todd Combs and Ted Weschler.  The other portfolio changes were apparently made by Combs and/or Weschler.

I am quoted in a Bloomberg article on this topic:

Combs and Weschler have an incentive “to put that money to work” if they think there are opportunities to outperform the market, said David Kass, a professor at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, who has taken students to meet the billionaire in Omaha. “Buffett wants his $20 billion rainy-day fund.”

The entire article is available at:

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