Berkshire Hathaway, an investment firm led by world-renowned Warren Buffett, reported first-quarter sales of shares in several financial, energy and pharmaceutical companies. Berkshire’s purchases include a large stake in insurance brokerage Aon Plc.
On Monday, Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB, BRK-A, BRK-B), as a publicly traded company with shares on the NYSE, published filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) about its purchases and sales of shares in the first quarter of 2021 of the year.
Berkshire chairman Warren Buffett and two key deputies, Todd Combs and Ted Weschler, oversee investments in the conglomerate’s $ 282 billion stock portfolio.
Warren Buffett’s company sold $ 6.45 billion worth of shares in the first three months of this year, divesting all of its shares in financial company Synchrony Financial (SYF) and energy company Suncor Energy (SU).
At the same time, Berkshire has significantly reduced its shares:
51% in oil giant Chevron (CVX) following the first purchase of those shares in the fourth quarter of 2020;
98% in one of the largest US banks Wells Fargo (WFC) after successive cuts in its share earlier, similar to the sale of all shares of two other banks last year – Goldman Sachs (GS) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM), which Berkshire has owned since 2018 of the year.
Berkshire slashes its stake in Brazilian fintech company StoneCo (STNE) by 24%;
pharmaceutical companies: Merck (MRK) by 37%, Abbvie (ABBV) – by 10% and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) – by 6%;
For the first quarter of 2021, Berkshire Hathaway acquired just $ 2.57 billion in shares.
Berkshire is likely to see a positive long-term impact from AON’s merger with rival Willis Towers Watson.
AON shares rose 0.4% on Monday.
Berkshire also increased its stake in March & McLennan (MMC), an insurance brokerage and investment advisory firm, by 23%.
Buffett’s company first bought March & McLennan shares in the fourth quarter of 2020.
The largest holdings Berkshire Hathaway left unchanged – shares of Apple (AAPL) and Bank of America (BAC).
In Warren Buffett’s Early 2021 Berkshire Hathaway Investment Portfolio, Marketinfo.pro wrote that Berkshire owns: 5.3% in Apple and 12% in Bank of America.
Berkshire Hathaway had a record $ 145.4 billion in cash and cash equivalents at the end of March, confirming market analysts’ comments that Buffett is “likely building up reserves” for a major acquisition.
At Berkshire’s annual meeting on May 1, Buffett said his company would like to spend $ 70 billion to $ 80 billion, but expects the market to offer better prices for now.
Berkshire Hathaway Class B shares are up 71% in the past 12 months and 24.7% since early 2021, ending 0.5% lower on Monday.