Warren Buffett Is Still Playing Defense In The Stock Market — Here Are His Top Q3 Sells

Warren Buffett-led Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB) surprised investors by appearing to take no new positions in a volatile third quarter, while selling more than a dozen stocks, including blue-chip holdings like Chevron (CVX) and Amazon (AMZN).


Details of Berkshire’s Q3 stock trades came in a regulatory filing late Tuesday. Earlier, on Nov. 4, the latest Berkshire Hathaway earnings report showed that the company was a net seller of stocks in a volatile Q3, pushing its cash pile to a record $157 billion.

Berkshire Hathaway Sells These Stocks

The 13F released Tuesday listed no new stock positions or additions to existing stock holdings, even though Berkshire’s earlier 10Q filing showed $1.7 billion in stocks purchased during the third quarter, Bill Stone, chief investment officer at Glenview Trust Company, wrote in a research note Wednesday.

“It is possible that Berkshire was able to delay disclosing a new holding, or the additions were in international stocks that do not need to be announced” in a 13F filing, Stone said.

In Q3, Berkshire did, however, reorganize its Liberty Media Sirius (LSXMA) holdings, Tuesday’s filing showed. As a result, it now holds Atlanta Braves (BATRK), a holding company for the baseball team, which split off from Liberty Media in July.

Among Q3 sells, Berkshire reduced its large holdings in Dow stock Chevron as well as HP (HPQ). Berkshire also pared small positions in Amazon stock and Globe Life (GL), among others.

The Chevron stock position has been trimmed for four straight quarters, by Stone’s calculation. It remains Berkshire’s fifth-largest stock holding, worth over $18 billion.

In Q3, Berkshire Hathaway completely ditched General Motors (GM) and UPS (UPS). Among Dow Jones stock holdings, the company exited Procter & Gamble (PG) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ).

These were all small positions in the company’s roughly $313 billion equity portfolio, according to the latest Berkshire 13F data tracked by whalewisdom.com.

Activision Blizzard (ATVI) also left Berkshire’s stock portfolio in the quarter. Microsoft (MSFT) completed its deal to buy the video game publisher in October.

Investors follow Berkshire’s 13F filings to learn where and how legendary billionaire investor Buffett is putting money to work for the company he leads.

Top Warren Buffett Stocks Include Apple

The top 10 positions in Berkshire’s stock investment portfolio include Apple (AAPL), Bank of America (BAC) and Occidental Petroleum (OXY). Besides Chevron and HQ, those positions were left unchanged in the third quarter, the 13F filing showed Tuesday.

Apple stock made up 50% of Berkshire’s portfolio at the end of September, vs. 51% at the end of June. Shares of the iPhone maker fell slightly during Q3, part of a broader sell-off over the period.

Year to date, AAPL stock is up 45%.


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