Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway) Stock Portfolio – Update 2011 Q4

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway stock holdings for Q4 2011 was filed on 2/14/2012.  There was a lot of activity this quarter as well, with new stakes in DaVita Inc and Liberty Media Corp, and increases to CVS Caremark, DIRECTV, General Dynamics, Intel, IBM, Visa, and Wells Fargo.  Holdings of Johnson & Johnson and Kraft were reduced again, while the stake in Exxon Mobil was eliminated. Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway [BRK.A /BRK.B] stock updates for the fourth quarter of 2011 (End of 12/31/2011):


Berkshire’s New Stock Holdings:

DaVita Inc [DVA]

– A new stake was initiated in DaVita Inc, a dialysis services company in the United States, specializing in administrative services to outpatient dialysis centers, as well as providing acute inpatient dialysis and related laboratory services in hospitals.
– A total of 2,684,500 shares of DaVita were purchased in the fourth quarter of 2011, and was worth approximately $203 million ($203,512,000) as of 12/31/2011.


Liberty Media Corp [LMCA]

– A new stake was initiated in the media, communications, and entertainment company, Liberty Media Corporation (formerly Liberty CapStarz Inc).  The company ’s Liberty Starz group operates their interest in Starz, LLC. The company’s Liberty Capital group includes Atlanta National League Baseball Club and TruePosition. The Liberty Capital group also includes interests in SiriusXM, Live Nation, and Barnes & Noble, as well as investments in Time Warner Inc. and Viacom.
– A total of 1,701,400 shares of Liberty Media were purchased purchased during the quarter, and was worth approximately $133 million ($132,794,000) as of 12/31/2011.



Berkshire’s Stock Additions:

CVS Caremark Corp. [CVS]

– Berkshire increased its stake in the provider of pharmacy healthcare by adding 1,445,500 shares (25.53%) from 5,661,000 shares, bringing its total to 7,106,500 shares.  On 12/31/2011, the total value of Berkshire’s holdings in CVS was approximately $290 million ($289,803,000).  CVS was a new holding last quarter (Q3 2011).



– Berkshire more than quadrupled its holdings of digital television provider DIRECTV.  During the quarter the company added 16,099,000 shares (378.85%) from 4,249,400 shares, bringing its total to 20,348,400 shares.  On 12/31/2011, the total value of Berkshire’s holdings in DTV was approximately $870 million ($870,098,000). DIRECTV was a new holding last quarter (Q3 2011).


General Dynamics Corp [GD]

– Berkshire increased its stake in General Dynamics Corporation by 812,700 shares (26.52%), bringing it up from 3,064,422 shares to a total of 3,877,122 shares.  On 12/31/2011, the company’s stake in the U.S. defense contractor had a market value of approximately $257 million ($257,480,000).  General Dynamics was a new holding in the previous quarter (Q3 2011).


Intel Corp. [INTC]

– Berkshire added to its holding in the semiconductor chip maker, Intel Corp by 2,162,000 shares (23.17%), increasing it from 9,333,000 shares to a total of 11,495,000 shares.  On 12/31/2011, the company’s stake was worth approximately $279 million ($278,754,000).  Intel was a new holding in the third quarter of 2011(Q3 2011).


International Business Machines [IBM]

– The company increased its holdings of International Business Machines Corporation during the fourth quarter of 2011. Although this was considered a new holding in the previous quarter (Q3 2011), Warren Buffett during an interview with CNBC on 11/14/2011, said that he had started buying shares for Berkshire since the first and second quarters of the year (but it didn’t appear until the Q3 2011 SEC filing).  Buffett also mentioned that his purchases extended into the the fourth quarter (current quarter).  During the 4th quarter 6,556,947 shares (11.43%) were added, increasing the number from 57,348,984 shares to a total of 63,905,931 shares.  Berkshire’s ownership of IBM is approximately 5.5% of the company.  On 12/31/2011, the company’s stake was worth approximately $12 billion ($11,751,023,000).


Visa Inc. [V]

– Berkshire added to its stake in global payments company, Visa Inc.  During the quarter the company added 573,300 shares (25.02%) from 2,291,708 shares, bringing its total to 2,865,008 shares.  On 12/31/2011, the total value of Berkshire’s holdings in Visa was approximately $291 million ($290,884,000).  Visa was a new holding last quarter (Q3 2011).


Wells Fargo & Co. [WFC]

– Berkshire increased its holdings in the bank for the third consecutive quarter.  During the fourth quarter 22,333,820 shares (6.18%) were purchased, bringing the total number of shares from 361,369,808 shares to 383,703,628 shares.  Berkshire’s stake in Wells Fargo had a market value of approximately $10 billion ($10,574,872,000).
– One of Buffett’s favorite holdings, he had previously added to the stake in WFC during the third quarter of 2011 (9,042,200 shares, 2.56%), the second quarter of 2011 (9,703,683 shares, 2.83%), the fourth quarter of 2010 (6,215,080 shares, 1.8%), as well as during the 3rd quarter of 2010, and 3 out of 4 quarters in 2009.



Berkshire’s Stock Reductions:

Johnson & Johnson [JNJ]

– Berkshire made another significant reduction in its holdings of the global healthcare giant.  This quarter 8,428,661 shares (-22.51%) were sold, bringing its position lower from 37,446,788 shares to a total of 29,018,127 shares.  Despite the reduction, Berkshire’s stake remains large.  On 12/31/2011 the company’s stake in J&J had a market value of approximately $1.9 billion ($1,903,009,000).
– During the previous quarter (Q3 2011), Berkshire had reduce its stake by 5,177,775 shares (12.15%).


Kraft Foods Inc. [KFT]

– Berkshire again trimmed its holdings in Kraft for the 3rd consecutive quarter.  Its stake was reduced by 2,711,995 shares (-3.02%), down from 89,746,708 shares, bringing the total to 87,034,713 shares.  On 12/31/2011, the company’s holdings in the food manufacturing giant was worth approximately $3.3 billion ($3,251,616,000).
– Last quarter (Q3 2011), its stake in KFT was reduced by 9,720,916 shares (-9.77%).  During Q2 2011, Berkshire had reduced its holdings by 5,746,960 shares or 5.46%.



Berkshire’s Stock Sell Offs:

Exxon Mobil Corp [XOM]

– Berkshire sold off its stake in the energy giant eliminating its holdings of 421,800 shares.  At the end of the previous quarter (Q3 2011), its shares in Exxon was worth approximately $30 million ($30,635,000).



Verisk Analytics [VRSK]:

– Although the filing shows that the number of shares have increased.  It is likely due to the conversion of class B to class A common shares.



Buffett, Combs, Weschler:

– It is likely that the new stakes in DaVita and Liberty Media were Ted Weshcler’s purchases, as he previous held the two holdings prior to joining Berkshire.  Although DIRECTV was also held by Weschler, it was already in the Berkshire portfolio and it was implied last quarter (Q3 2011) that Todd Combs had made that purchase.
– In Q3 2011 Buffett told CNBC that investments in the $200 million area are very likely to be Combs or Weschler, because he personally looks at larger investments.  He also mentioned that Weschler has not yet gone to work for Berkshire yet and will not until January 2012.  This implied that the stakes in CVS, DIRECTV, General Dynamics, Intel, and Visa were made by Todd Combs last quarter.  It is likely that the additional shares acquired were also made by him.  Buffett also mentioned that Combs does not require approval from Buffett for investment purchases, as he has been allocated a block of money to invest with that is “entirely his book”.  Its probably safe to assume the same arrangement with Weshcler.
– Buffett also declared (in Q3) that he was responsible for the acquisition of IBM shares and the additions to Wells Fargo last quarter, and it is likely that he was responsible for the additions this quarter.  The size of the Kraft, Johnson & Johnson, and Exxon Mobil holdings suggest he was also responsible for those reductions as well.


SEC Filing:

You can view the 2/14/2012 SEC filing which discloses Berkshire Hathaway stock holdings here:

The filing does not differentiate between investments that are made by Berkshire Hathaway, its subsidiaries, Todd Combs, Ted Weschler, or Warren Buffett himself (as the chairman and chief executive of the company).  Buffett usually makes his stock investments for Berkshire Hathaway through his insurance arms (Berkshire Hathaway Life Insurance Co. of Nebraska, Columbia insurance Co, GEICO, National Indemnity Co, Wesco Financial, etc.).


Full Disclosure:

I am long Berkshire Hathaway, Wells Fargo, and Kraft.  I do not plan on acquiring or selling shares, of any of the companies mentioned within this post, within the next 3 trading days.


Recommended Warren Buffett Related Books:

Although its easy to follow and copy Warren Buffett’s stock moves (buys/sells), we only learn of his actions months after it has been done (SEC filing is always later). We would never know for sure why the move was made or what other reasons were behind it.

Buffett recommends investors who want to learn how he invests, to read books that he specifically endorses and recommends, as well as past Berkshire Hathaway annual reports. The following is list of those few books (I’ve have read these myself and learned to invest like Buffett):

All of the above books are also featured in my Amazon.com and Amazon.ca Associates Store.

Thanks and Happy Investing! – The Investment Blogger © 2011

Author: The Investment Blogger

I’m a private investor, who developed the “function-centric investing” paradigm. I am an investor who blogs a little here and there, rather than a blogger who invests a little here and there. I'm passionate about investing and sharing investment knowledge!

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  1. Didn’t he reduce Dollar General (DG)? I am sure I read that. And why? Strong company, with strong sales, and lots of growth! Seems like a big shift towards TV stations. and GM is a weird choice!

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    • Reduction of Dollar General and new stake in GM were Q1 2012 moves. Todd Combs was responsible for Dollar General. It could simply be reallocation of capital and not that they see less growth. Likely either Combs or Weschler were responsible for the GM purchase as well. Weschler & Combs did purchase media companies prior to joining Berkshire, so it could be a continuation of that as well with Viacom stake.

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