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Stock Analyst Update

Berkshire's Apple Stake Grows

The wide-moat firm also purchased additional shares of Goldman Sachs and US Bancorp during the second quarter.


There were few surprises in wide-moat-rated  Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK.A) second-quarter 13-F filing. The sale of Monsanto, which was acquired by Bayer for $128 per share in early June, netted the firm around $2.4 billion, and the insurer's sale of 4.5 million shares of Wells Fargo (for an estimated $240 million) was part of efforts to keep Berkshire's ownership stake in the bank below the 10% threshold. The insurer also reduced its stake in Phillips 66 by 24%, selling 11.0 million shares (for an estimated $1.1 billion). This followed a sale of $3.3 billion of stock back to that company during the first quarter. Berkshire also eliminated the rest of its holdings in Verisk Analytics (for an estimated $30 million), having blown out 80% of its holdings in the firm during the March quarter, and trimmed its stake in Charter Communications (netting an estimated $215 million for 0.7 million shares).

The company used the sale of 1.3 million shares of American Airlines (for an estimated $60 million) and 1.0 million shares of United Continental (for an estimated $70 million), as well as proceeds from the sales mentioned above, to purchase another 10.1 million shares of Delta (for an estimated $525 million) and 8.9 million shares of Southwest (for an estimated $480 million), which moved Berkshire's ownership stake in each of the domestic airlines to around 10%.

Berkshire also increased its stake in Apple, acquiring another 12.4 million shares (for an estimated $2.2 billion), lifting its ownership stake to just over 5% of the technology company's outstanding shares. Other major purchases included the acquisition of another 2.3 million shares of Goldman Sachs (for an estimated $540 million) and 9.8 million additional shares of US Bancorp (for an estimated $500 million). Berkshire also made smaller additions to Bank of New York Mellon, Teva Pharmaceutical, General Motors, Liberty Global and Axalta Coating Systems during the second quarter.

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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.