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Stock Analyst Update

Berkshire Again a Net Seller of Equities in Q4

Firm put around $1 billion into Activision Blizzard, a stake now worth $1.4 billion based on Microsoft's $95 per share takeout price.

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Wide-moat-rated Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) (BRK.B) was again a net seller of equities during the fourth quarter, based on data from its recent 13-F filing. We'll get a better sense of the firm's total buying and selling activity when the company reports fourth-quarter results at the end of the month, but from what we can tell so far, the insurer sold an estimated $4.3 billion worth of securities during the December quarter, using $3.5 billion worth of the proceeds to buy other stocks. Contrast this with the September quarter, when Berkshire sold some $3.4 billion worth of equities and acquired a little over $1.4 billion with the proceeds.

Looking more closely at the sales, the insurer eliminated its stake in Teva Pharmaceutical (netting an estimated $380 million) and sold off more than 75% of its stakes in Marsh & McLennan, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and AbbVie (for an estimated total of $2.8 billion). Berkshire also sold off a third of its stake in Royalty Pharma (netting around $175 million) and trimmed positions in Visa, MasterCard, Charter Communications, and Kroger. While we hesitate to make too much of the changes in the insurer's Liberty Media-related holdings, given the use of tracking and other shares on the part of John Malone's media empire, Berkshire is no longer reporting a stake in Sirius XM Radio, but did announce a new stake in Liberty Media Corp, and added to its existing holdings in Liberty Media SiriusXM during the quarter.

As for the purchases, there were two new holdings in the period, Nu Holdings (which went public in December 2021) and Activision Blizzard (which announced it would be acquired by Microsoft in January 2022). Berkshire put around $1 billion into Activision Blizzard in the fourth quarter, a stake now worth $1.4 billion based on Microsoft's $95 per share takeout price. Berkshire also increased its holdings in Chevron by a third, making it a $4.5 billion holding at the end of 2021, and made small additions to its stakes in RH and Floor & Decor.

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Greggory Warren does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.