Warren Buffett Loads Up on Apple, Flips On This Stock

Warren Buffett and his Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB) loaded up on Apple (AAPL) and energy stocks during the fourth quarter, while cutting back on financial stocks and slashing a relatively new position in Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM).


Berkshire Hathaway now has a 5.8% stake in Apple after adding 20.76 million shares during the quarter, bringing its total holdings to 915.6 million as of Dec. 31, according to the company’s Schedule 13G filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday.

Occidental Petroleum (OXY) was Buffett’s favorite energy play during Q4. Berkshire added 83.86 million shares of OXY stock, with its 278 million shares representing a 28% stake in the company. OXY stock rose more than 2.4% Tuesday following the filing, released during normal trading.

But Berkshire cut back on its Chevron (CVX) holdings by 2.38 million shares to 162.96 million. The company’s $29.25 billion stake represents 8.4% ownership of the gasoline giant.

Buffett reinforced his stake in consumer staple and condiment giant Kraft Heinz (KHC). The Oracle of Omaha added 97 million shares during Q4, bringing the total to 422.64 million shares. Berkshire now owns 34.5% in Kraft, according to the 13G filing.

The company also increased its position in Netflix (NFLX) rival Paramount (PARA), adding 2.420 million shares during the quarter. Buffett now has a 15% stake in the streaming service after first opening a position in Q1 last year. PARA stock rose slightly overnight.

Berkshire increased its holdings in Louisiana-Pacific (LPX) by 21% by adding 1.249 million shares. Buffett now has a 9.8% share in the maker of building materials after first buying shares in Q3.

Buffett Stock Sales

Meanwhile, the conglomerate sold 268,823 shares of Kroger (KR), bringing its KR stake down to 50 million shares, or 6.9% of the company.

Buffett sold 7.4 million shares of video game maker Activision (ATVI) and 342.8 million shares of drugmaker Merck (MCK).

Berkshire Hathaway trimmed its bank holdings, selling 200,000 Ally (ALLY) shares and more than half of its BK stock. Buffett also cut his Bank of New York Mellon (BK) holdings, by 59% with the sale of 37 million shares during in Q4.

Berkshire Hathaway nearly exited its position in U.S. Bancorp (USB). Buffett’s firm sold 71 million shares, or 91% of its stake. Berkshire now holds just 6.67 million shares after first opening a position in Q1 of 2006.

It’s the second quarter in a row that Berkshire reduced its KR, BK, ATVI and USB holdings.

Buffett also flipped on Taiwan Semiconductor. Berkshire sold 86% of its TSM stock after buying 60 million shares for more than $4.1 billion just last quarter. TSM stock is up nearly 22% over the past three months and 31.5% year-to-date.

But Taiwan Semi stock fell nearly 4% overnight.

After the changes, Apple remains the clear giant in Berkshire’s portfolio, representing 38.9% of the total holdings. Bank of America (BAC) ranks second followed by Chevron, representing 11.19% and 9.78% of the portfolio, respectively.

Berkshire disclosed its fourth-quarter holdings in its Schedule 13-F filing late Tuesday, with the latest changes tracked by whalewisdom.com.

You can follow Harrison Miller for more stock news and updates on Twitter @IBD_Harrison


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