Warren Buffet Sells Viacom, Buys AT&T And Reduces Goldman Sachs

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Probably the most popular and followed investor is Warren Buffett. The ‘Oracle from Omaha’ holds one of the best track records in long-term buy-and-hold investing. Mr. Buffett has a large fan-base as chairman, CEO and largest shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway. A huge group of investors is keen to know where he put his money through his investment vehicle. Luckily, institutional investment managers with over USD 100 million in assets under management are required make a 13-F filling with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) .The 13F-form must be filed within 45 days of each quarter. The form contains a list of the holdings and the mutations during the quarter.

During the third quarter, Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRK) or Mr. Buffett’s stock portfolio had a couple of interesting changes. For example, the holding in Viacom (VIA) (5.6 million shares, value of USD 365 million) was completely sold. On the other side, telecom provider AT&T (T) was added and BRK now holds 59.3 million shares in AT&T with a total value of over USD 1.9 billion. Also Kraft Heinz (KHC) is a ‘new’ name in the portfolio and is currently the largest holding (18%) with BRK owning 325.6 million shares at a value of around USD 23 billion. An interesting mutation is the sale of Goldman Sachs (GS). In the previous quarter, Buffet owned 12.6 million shares but as at September 30 this was lowered to 11.0 million shares, the value decreased with USD 700 million (including share price fluctuations). The position in Bank of New York Mellon Corp (BK) was reduces as well, albeit not much with USD 90 million or 570,000 shares. The holding US Bancorp (USB) was increased with 1.2 million shares, but due to a share price decline the value was 200 million lower as at September 30.

Another noteworthy increase in light of our article on cable networks is witnessed in the stake in 21st Century Fox (FOXA). This stake was upped with 2.7 million shares. Buffet’s position in energy company Phillips 66 (PSX) was doubled to 61.5 million shares and increased to USD 4.7 billion. The exposure to Liberty Media Corp (LMCK) doubled as well. Also the position in General Motors increased significantly from 41 million shares to 50 million shares. The stake in Wal-Mart (WMT) was reduced with 4 million shares. Chicago Bridge & Iron (CBI) lost Buffet’s favor and over 7 million shares were sold. For an overview see table below and for details visit the 13F filling at the SEC.

Investors are now able to mimic the ways of the investment guru in the search of a comparable yield. Maybe one day this will lead to a similar fortune as Mr. Buffett… But that may be sweet dreams. Investors should realize that this is information from the past. Yes, Buffett is a long-term investor and in the long run market timing is not that important in a buy-and-hold strategy. However, Buffett moves come in big sizes and that has a huge market impact. Due to large volume deals, prices on the market are affected. We should never forget that share prices are the result of demand and supply. If a large investor has made its move, that means that share prices are heavily impacted by a huge flow. Buying based on 13-F fillings means that investors are behind the curve. And that’s never a good position in the world of investing…

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