The Omaha Oracle Company revealed three modifications, so far classified as secret, to its portfolio due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. revealed three share purchases it made in secret, including new bets on Chevron Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc. that raised its shares and cut its stake in Apple Inc. in the last three months of 2020 .
Berkshire also bought shares in insurance broker Marsh & McLennan Cos., Disclosing three bets that were granted confidential and undisclosed status in a third-quarter regulatory filing, according to an updated document released Tuesday. The reduction in Apple’s stake left Berkshire with a stake valued at about $ 120 billion at the end of 2020, according to another document. The iPhone maker is still Berkshire’s largest stock holding.
Buffett and his investment delegates, Todd Combs and Ted Weschler, reshaped the portfolio over the past year when Covid-19 hit the United States. The company invested heavily in the banking sector, which has performed well in the pandemic but is exposed to consumer finance and commercial real estate. The conglomerate has spent the past few months loosening up with some of those lenders, while keeping its bets on firms like Bank of America Corp.
Berkshire cut some bank holdings, exiting JPMorgan Chase & Co., PNC Financial Services Group Inc. and M&T Bank Corp. at the same time it cut its stake in Wells Fargo & Co. by 59%. The company also turned around recent bets on drugmakers by increasing stakes in Merck & Co., Abbvie Inc., and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. It ended a recent investment in Pfizer Inc.
Berkshire also dropped a bet on Barrick Gold Corp. The stake came as a surprise when it was revealed last year, given Buffett’s years of criticizing investments in the precious metal. The company also cut its stake in General Motors Co., reducing that stake to a stake valued at roughly $ 3 billion at the end of the fourth quarter.
Some of the new bets were considerable. Berkshire made an investment in Chevron worth nearly $ 4.1 billion at the end of 2020, while its Marsh & McLennan stake was valued at $ 499 million. The Omaha Oracle Company racked up a $ 8.6 billion stake in Verizon, a company it had previously gambled on but cut back in 2019.
Verizon shares rose 4.1% to $ 56.35 as of 8:01 am in early New York trading, while Chevron also gained 4.1% to $ 96.99.