Buffett’s firm buys Apple, Amazon while betting on oil, second quarter report details
OMAHA, Neb. — Warren Buffett’s company bet more on high-tech darling Apple and e-commerce giant Amazon during the second quarter, while also investing billions in old-school oil producers Occidental Petroleum and Chevron.
Berkshire Hathaway detailed all its second-quarter investments Monday in a new filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Wall Street follows Berkshire’s investments closely because of Buffett’s remarkably successful track record over the decades.
Berkshire had already disclosed its biggest move in the quarter — investing $1.4 billion in oil producer Occidental Petroleum — because that investment’s size required more immediate updates. Berkshire now owns more than $11 billion worth of Occidental stock, and it controls more than 20% of the company after making several more purchases since the quarter ended on June 30.
But Monday’s filing revealed a number of smaller moves Berkshire made during the second quarter, including adding to its stakes in Apple, Amazon, Chevron, Ally Financial, Activision Blizzard, Paramount Global and several other stocks. Berkshire also trimmed its holdings in General Motors, US Bancorp and Kroger stocks while eliminating a stake in Verizon Communications.
Although Berkshire was active during the second quarter, it didn’t do nearly as much as it did in the first three months of the year when it invested $51 billion in an assortment of stocks.
Berkshire’s biggest single investment got a bit bigger during the quarter because it bought nearly 4 million more Apple shares, giving it 894.8 million shares of the iPhone maker.
The famously tech-averse investor’s conglomerate also picked up more than 10 million Amazon shares, giving it nearly 10.7 million shares.
Monday’s filing doesn’t make clear which investments Buffett handled and which ones were made by the two other investment managers at Berkshire, but Buffett typically handles all the larger investments worth more than $1 billion, such as the company’s major stakes in Apple, Bank of America, American Express and Coca-Cola stocks. Berkshire officials don’t typically comment on these quarterly filings.
Berkshire now owns 68.4 million Activision Blizzard shares after picking up more than 4 million more during the quarter. Buffett has said that investment is a bet that Microsoft’s acquisition of the video game maker will go through.
Besides investments, the Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire also owns more than 90 companies outright, including Geico insurance, BNSF railroad, several major utilities and an eclectic collection of manufacturing and retail companies, such as Dairy Queen and Precision Castparts.