The 4 stocks Buffett loves most

The latest quarterly look at all the stocks held by Berkshire Hathaway shows what he's been buying and selling -- and the four names that make up more than half of Berkshire's stock holdings.

By MSN Money Partner May 16, 2014 3:10PM

Warren Buffett (c) Getty ImagesBy Jon C. Ogg for 24/7 Wall St.


Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) yesterday released its holdings as of the end of the first quarter of 2014. We weren't expecting many major changes to the portfolio, but it turns out there were some key moves worth tracking.


24/7 wall stAmong them was Warren Buffett‘s decision to dump shares of deeply troubled General Motors (GM). He also increased his position in telecom giant Verizon (VZ), and the nation’s largest retailer -- Wal-mart (WMT).


When the company reported earnings, it listed the value of its equity securities as $116.16 billion as of March 31, versus $115.464 billion as of December 31, 2013. The actual Berkshire Hathaway 13F lists the total value at the end of March as $105.772 billion, versus the 13F showing $104.836 billion at the end of 2013.


Buffett’s quarterly report also showed that there had been gross gains from sales and other disposals of $1.004 billion. We also saw that as of March 31, 2014, approximately 56% of the total fair value was concentrated in the equity securities of just four top holdings:

  • Wells Fargo (WFC) at $24.0 billion
  • Coca-Cola (KO) at $15.5 billion
  • American Express (AXP) at $13.6 billion
  • IBM (IBM) at $13.2 billion

As a reminder, some of the investments in key companies are no longer held in public shares, so they won't show up on this list. Berkshire Hathaway invested $3 billion into preferred shares of Dow Chemical (DOW) when things were tough in 2009. Shares have risen handily.


·       Related at 24/7 Wall St.: Warren Buffett’s 9 top dividend stocks


One of the new stakes was a surprise -- Verizon. Buffett has not been a big telecom player before.


Here's the full list of Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway stock holdings as of March 31, 2014, with notes on whether the size of his position has been getting larger or smaller, or has stayed the same:


American Express (AXP) was roughly 151.6 million shares, same as last quarter -- and the same as always.


Bank of New York Mellon (BK) was the same size position at 24.6 million shares.


Chicago Bridge & Iron (CBI) was the same size position at 9.55 million shares, but this was raised in 2013.


Coca-Cola (KO) was right at 400 million shares, unchanged -- and has been the same size for years and years.


ConocoPhillips (COP) was a smaller position again, down to 11.079 million shares, versus 13.529 million shares last quarter and lower than the 24.1 million shares in June.


Costco Wholesale (COST) was 4,333,363 shares, same as last quarter.


DaVita (DVA) was a larger stake yet again at 37.621 million shares. This was up from 36.46 million last quarter, up from 31.446 million shares before that, and was raised before. This stake keeps getting lifted, but Buffett has entered into a standstill agreement not to buy more than 25% of the company.


Deere (DE) was the same size as last quarter at roughly 4 million shares.


DirecTV (DTV) was a slightly lower stake at 34.514 million shares, versus a 36.514 million share stake before. Keep in mind that this had been higher at about 37.275 million shares last June. With this being a buyout candidate, the plot thickens.


Exxon Mobil (XOM) was the same stake of 41.129 million shares, but this was raised the prior quarter and was a new stake in 2013.


General Electric (GE) was the same stake of 10.585 million shares, but this was raised in the prior quarter and had been telegraphed before because of the warrants.


General Motors (GM) is a SMALLER STAKE at 30 million shares, down 10 million shares, but this had been raised in 2013 from 25 million shares.


Goldman Sachs (GS) was the same stake of 12.631 million shares.


Graham Holdings (GHC) is the remains of Washington Post and was the same position at 1.727 million shares.


International Business Machines (IBM) was a SLIGHTLY LARGER STAKE at 68.355 million shares, up about 233,000 shares or so. Buffett finally showed us the proof that he added to this as he had said before but it had not been seen.


Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) was the same size at only 327,100 shares, but this way down from before.


Kraft Foods Group (KRFT) was the same size at only 192,666 shares, but this is way down from the past and again like a position that was forgotten about.


Lee Enterprises (LEE) was the same size of only 88,863 shares, but a deal in 2013 may have given more leverage on the debt size.


Liberty Media (LMCA) is the same stake of 5.3 million shares.


Liberty Global PLC (LBTYA) appears to be a larger stake of 14.693 million shares versus a prior stake of 2,948,285 shares. Be advised that the special situation may have created this change.


M&T Bank (MTB) was the same position at 5.38 million shares — same as always.


MasterCard (MA) looks larger but is the same position due to a stock split. It is now at 4,050,000 shares, versus the prior 405,000 shares before that stock split.


Media General (MEG) was the same position of 4.64 million shares.


Mondelez International (MDLZ) is the same position at 578,000 shares, but this remains far lower than in the past and seems like the portfolio managers forgot to clean up the position.


Moody’s (MCO) was the same position of 24.669 million shares, but this is lower than before.


National Oilwell Varco (NOV) was the same position at 8.88 million shares, but this stake was raised in 2013.


Phillips 66 (PSX) is a much smaller stake of 9.741 million shares, versus 27.16 million shares in the prior quarter. Keep in mind that this was added in prior quarters after the Conoco spin-off.


Precision Castparts (PCP) was the same position at roughly 2 million shares, but this was still relatively a new holding.


Procter & Gamble (PG) was the same position at 52.8 million shares, but that had been lowered in 2012 from a prior peak of 96.3 million shares.


Sanofi (SNY) was the same position at 3.905 million shares, but that stake is slightly smaller than it was earlier in 2013.


Starz (STRZA) was a smaller stake again at 1,919,541 shares, down from about 4.54 million shares the prior quarter and versus 5.622 million shares in 2013.



Suncor Energy (SU) was the same stake of 13 million shares, but this was lower than in 2013.


Torchmark (TMK) was the same at more than 4.2 million shares.


U.S. Bancorp (USB) was a larger position yet again at 80.026 million, versus about 79.3 million shares last time. This is a position that just keeps growing.


USG (USG) was the same stake at 34.89 million shares, but this grew last quarter from 17.072 million shares. Also note: it had already been telegraphed that the stake was larger, perhaps from an old debt stake.


United Parcel Service (UPS) was the same paltry position at 59,400 shares, but this is way down from 2012 and hardly worth the effort.


VeriSign (VRSN) rose again to 11,685,654 shares, versus 10.96 million shares last quarter.


Verisk Analytics (VRSK) was the same position at 1,563,434 shares, but that is lower than prior quarters.


Verizon Communications (VZ) is a new position of 11,022,743 shares, worth some $524 million at the end of the first quarter.


Viacom (VIA) was the same position of 7.6+ million shares, but that had been raised in 2013.


Visa (V) was the same position of 1.555 million shares, but this is still lower than in 2012.


Wabco (WBC) is the same position at just over 4.076 million shares.


Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) was larger at 58.05 million shares, up from 49.48 million shares the prior quarter.


Wells Fargo (WFC) was the same size stake at 463.458 million shares. This is the first quarter in recent memory that Buffett did not raise the size of this holding.[RP1] 


More at 24/7 Wall St.:


The stocks Buffett has never sold

10 brands that will disappear in 2014

Why GE is the best conglomerate for 2014 to 2015


Hey...where are all the idiots? Oh yeah, crying about minimum wage on the Wal-Mart article!

You could all learn something from Buffett, instead of crying for more money.

May 17, 2014 10:16AM

Well it is more enlightening then reading, whining and crying about WailMart...

Bitching and moaning, about how you were treated, or empty shelves on sale days....

The inevitable Wally World Tour of shoppers in pajamas, or something worse..

And hear some say "they will never shop there again"....

Who wants to hear or read all that bullshidt, from a bunch of morons...?

May 18, 2014 6:44PM

None of this matters:

Past Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has made it perfectly clear

that "The road to Oz is paved with gold".

AND Buffett, he's the little man behind the curtain..

Interest rates will stay at near 0% for some time to come.

President Obama has appointed a new "Housing Zar"

The housing market will improve.

And the "Big Bubble Burst" will not be on his watch..

Even if it takes a creation of "New Money" and a "Bond Buy Back Program"

second to none.

There is no other safe haven on earth, other then America. The rest of the World is

in shambles, bankruptcies are knocking at the doors of almost every country

out there, while war and unrest is prevalent across the globe.

The World Banking System will see that America has all the money it needs,

because without us we all sink into a "Black Hole" that only a "Third World War"

will jumpstart back to prosperity ..

And the hold card is "Infrastructure Revitalization" A program we haven't tapped into

and we won't until all other avenues have been exhausted..

We have finally become "United States of Corporations" who have control over

the Entire World..

And It could Be Worse... We do have some since of value and human integrity

while other countries out there don't..

May 19, 2014 10:44AM
It's time for Buffet to ho away and do something good for mankind with his billions
May 18, 2014 11:53AM
The old bloodsucker: An unrelentingly greedy old POS..Croak already..
May 17, 2014 6:26AM
What could we learn from Buffett? He got rich when Founders built businesses that built America and lawyers lived on the same streets as plumbers. Once he made millions and then billions, he decided who lived and who thrived. If you follow Buffett, you follow an octogenarian to his grave. It should occur to you that all indicators point to "lose" and there are only so many fry cook positions. What else have you got? Bet you got-- squat, idiot. 
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