For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – February 18, 2022 – Zacks Value Trader is a podcast hosted weekly by Zacks Stock Strategist Tracey Ryniec. Every week, Tracey will be joined by guests to discuss the hottest investing topics in stocks, bonds and ETFs and how it impacts your life. To listen to the podcast, click here: https://www.zacks.com/stock/news/1869333/whos-really-making-the-berkshire-hathaway-stock-trades
Who’s Really Making the Berkshire Hathaway Stock Trades?
Welcome to Episode #269 of the Value Investor Podcast.
(0:30) – What To Learn From The Berkshire Hathaways 13F Filing(4:45) – Who Is Buying and What Are They Buying?(16:30) – Big Takeaways From The 13F Filing: ATVI, CVX, MA, V, ABBV, RH Podcast@Zacks.com
Every week, Tracey Ryniec, the editor of Zacks Value Investor portfolio, shares some of her top value investing tips and stock picks.
This week, it’s time to look at what trades Berkshire Hathaway made in the fourth quarter of 2021.
The 13-F filing is out.
Remember, the 13-Fs are filed with the SEC 45 days after the end of the quarter. They describe the trades the big hedge fund and money managers made in the prior quarter.
We often look at what trades Berkshire Hathaway is doing in its stock portfolio. Many value investors like to follow Warren Buffett’s trades, even if they don’t own Berkshire Hathaway, and buy what he is buying. After all, he is one of the greatest living investors.
But Berkshire Hathaway now has three portfolio managers. There is Warren Buffett and his two lieutenants, Ted Weschler and Todd Combs.
How do we know who is making each of the trades?
Is Activision Blizzard a Buffett Stock?
It’s becoming more obvious who is doing what.
Take Activision Blizzard (ATVI). Berkshire added it in the fourth quarter for the first time. It bought nearly a billion dollars of Activision Blizzard. That was a small position for the portfolio.
Does anyone think Buffett is buying Activision Blizzard for the portfolio? He has long been a technology avoider. It’s a gaming company.
We don’t know, as Buffett often doesn’t say who is buying what positions, but it’s unlikely it was Buffett buying Activision Blizzard for the portfolio.
What about with some of the other fourth quarter trades?
Is it Buffett or Others Making These Trades?
1. Mastercard MA
Berkshire Hathaway bought Mastercard in the first quarter of 2011. Mastercard was the type of company that Buffett loves, a financial with good cash flows and a moat.
It seems likely that Mastercard was bought by Buffett. Ted Weschler wasn’t even working at Berkshire yet. He started in 2012.
In the fourth quarter of 2021, Berkshire sold a small portion of Mastercard. In the last 10 years, it has had a massive run with the shares up over 1000%.
Was this Buffett buying and selling Mastercard?
2. Visa V
Berkshire also bought Visa in 2011, but bought it in the third quarter. Like Mastercard, Visa fits the Buffett investing profile.
And Visa turned out to be another winner, as the stock has gained over 800% since the third quarter of 2011.
In the fourth quarter, Berkshire also sold a small portion of Visa.
Did Buffett sell Visa in the fourth quarter to lock in some profit?
3. Chevron CVX
Chevron was first added to the Berkshire Hathaway portfolio in the fourth quarter of 2020. It had a $4 billion stake.
But surprisingly, Berkshire sold half the shares just a quarter later. Chevron shares had rallied, so Berkshire did make some nice profit.
Berkshire kept selling. It sold shares of Chevron again in the second quarter of 2021.
It didn’t make any changes in Q3, but in the fourth quarter, Berkshire changed course and bought more shares, pushing the value of the position back to $4.5 billion.
Buying, selling, selling, and then buying again.
Does this kind of trading pattern in Chevron match what Buffett has said over the last 70 years about investing?
4. AbbVie ABBV
AbbVie was added to the Berkshire portfolio in the third quarter of 2020. AbbVie seemed like a Buffett-like stock.
It was dirt-cheap in 2020, with a forward P/E under 10. AbbVie also paid a juicy dividend, yielding over 4%.
Berkshire bought a small position which was 0.79% of the portfolio.
One quarter later, Berkshire bought more, pushing it up to 1% of the portfolio.
But starting in the first quarter of 2021, Berkshire began selling. It sold AbbVie in Q1, Q2, Q3 and finally, even in Q4 of 2021.
AbbVie’s position in the portfolio was down to just 0.12%.
Does this trading follow Buffett’s historic pattern of stock buying?
What Else Do You Need to Know About Berkshire Hathaway’s Q4 Trading?
Tune into this week’s podcast to find out.
[In full disclosure, Tracey owns shares of ABBV in her personal portfolio.]
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