Stocks Warren Buffett Is Buying (And 6 He's Selling)

Galtero Lara
Noviembre 17, 2018

The JPMorgan investment closes a notable hole in Berkshire's stock portfolio, which already contained large investments in other financial services companies, including American Express Co, Bank of America Corp, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, US Bancorp and Wells Fargo & Co. Sources: Berkshire Hathaway's SEC Form 13F filed November 14, 2018, for the reporting period ended September 30, 2018; Fintel Financial Intelligence; S&P Global Market Intelligence; CNBC's Berkshire Hathaway Portfolio Tracker.

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc deepened its commitment to the United States financial industry, announcing a $4.02 billion stake in JPMorgan Chase & Co and new investments in PNC Financial Services Group Inc and Travelers Companies Inc, plus a stake in Oracle Corp.

Buffett, 88, has always been one of the most influential bank investors and has been diversifying his bets in the industry.

It also topped up its Apple holding, adding 522,902 shares, bringing the firm's total stake in the iPhone maker to 252.5 million shares, worth $US56.994 billion.

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A strong US economy, rising interest rates and corporate tax cuts have propelled profits at the nation's biggest lenders to record levels. Still, October's market declines meant the early returns on Berkshire's latest bets aren't the best - shares of six of its eight largest bank holdings are down so far in the fourth quarter.

The billionaire investor has been struggling to find large acquisitions to put a more-than $100 billion pile of cash to work. But Berkshire also did a little trimming. His net purchases of stocks in the period was the most he's spent on that in more than four years. He's now a major shareholder in four of the five biggest USA banks, and has boosted his investments in Bank of America Corp.by 29% and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.by 38%. It topped up its stakes in Bank of America, US Bancorp and the Bank of New York Mellon. Last year, he converted those warrants into a $16.5 billion common stock holding in Bank of America.

Shares of JPMorgan, PNC and Travelers each rose at least 1 percent in after-hours trading following Berkshire's disclosure of its new stakes, while Oracle shares rose 2.4 percent. Todd Combs, one of Buffett's top deputies, is already on the bank's board, and Berkshire has teamed up with JPMorgan and Amazon.com Inc. for a health-care venture. But Buffett said in 2012 that he had a personal investment in the bank run by Jamie Dimon.

Berkshire also took a new stake in Travelers Co., a rare bet on an insurer that competes with the company's own Geico unit.

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