Buffett's Been Selling

Warren Buffett has been selling stocks this year, and he's doing it at a rate we haven't seen for a long time.

Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A), is the world’s most successful investor. With a net worth estimated at $47 billion, Buffett is number three on the Forbes list of richest people in the world.
 
Every quarter, the SEC rules dictate that fund managers or investors meeting certain minimum requirements disclose their holdings. This allows the public to learn what the “smart money” has been doing. The disclosures, known as 13-F filings, list the long equity positions the manager has at the end of the preceding quarter. It’s through this mechanism that the public can learn what Buffett has been buying, and in this case, selling.
 
And selling has been the name of the game this past quarter. Berkshire (BRK.A) has been on a tear selling stakes in Kraft Foods (KFT), Gannett, Costco (COST), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Procter & Gamble (PG), Conoco Phillips (COP), and Moody's (MCO). Buffett is known for his long-term value investment approach, where he seldom makes big changes to his portfolio. It’s also extremely rare to see him sell out of a position completely, but that’s exactly what he did with SunTrust Bank (STI), Travelers (TRV), UnitedHealth (UNH) and Wellpoint (WLP).
 
The big sales came from Kraft (KFT) and Gannett (GCI). In both positions Buffett sold over 20% of his holdings. He also reduced the Costco (COST) position by 17%.
 
In addition, Buffett did not build any new positions. It appears the valuation of the market did not whet his appetite for any new companies. He did, however, increase his stakes in three companies, namely Republic Services (RSG), Becton, Dickinson & Co (BDX) and Iron Mountain (IRM).
 
Berkshire’s biggest position is in Coca-Cola (KO), closely followed by Wells Fargo (WFO). It must also be noted that only US domiciled companies listed on certain exchanges are required to be included in the report – as such, positions such as BYD (the Chinese battery/solar/electric vehicle company) and not included. It’s possible also that Buffett purchased stocks on other exchanges around the world.
 
The full details according to the 13-F filing are as follows (thanks to MarketFolly for this list):

Increased Positions
Republic Services (RSG): Increased position by 30.6%
Becton, Dickinson & Co (BDX): Increased by 16.3%
Iron Mountain (IRM): Increased by 11.35%

Reduced Positions
Kraft Foods (KFT): Reduced by 22.8%
Gannett (GCI): Reduced by 20.98%
Costco (COST): Reduced by 17.5%
M&T Bank (MTB): Reduced by 17.1%
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): Reduced by 12%
Procter & Gamble (PG): Reduced by 9.6%
Conoco Phillips (COP): Reduced by 9.37%
Carmax (KMX): Reduced by 3.43%
Moody's (MCO): Reduced by 3% 

Positions With No Change
American Express (AXP)
Bank of America (BAC)
Coca Cola (KO)
Comcast (CMCSA)
Comdisco Holdings (CDCO)
Exxon Mobil (XOM)
General Electric (GE)
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
Home Depot (HD)
Ingersoll-Rand (IR)
Lowe's (LOW)
Nalco Holding (NLC)
Nestle (NSRGY)
Nike (NKE)
Sanofi Aventis (SNY)
Tiffany & Co (TIF)
Torchmark (TMK)
US Bancorp (USB)
USG (USG)
United Parcel Service (UPS)
WalMart (WMT)
Washington Post (WPO)
Wells Fargo (WFC)
Wesco (WSC)

Positions They Sold Out of Completely
SunTrust Bank (STI)
Travelers (TRV)
UnitedHealth (UNH)
Wellpoint (WLP)

Top 15 Holdings (by percentage of assets reported on the 13F filing)

 

Coca Cola (KO): 21.6%
Wells Fargo (WFC): 19.56%
American Express (AXP): 12.28%
Procter & Gamble (PG): 9.83%
Kraft Foods (KFT): 6.34%
Wesco Financial (WSC): 4.32%
Walmart (WMT): 4.26%
US Bancorp (USB): 3.51%
Conoco Phillips (COP): 3.43%
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): 3.06%
Moody's (MCO): 1.80%
Washington Post (WPO): 1.51%
Nike (NKE): 1.10%
M&T Bank (MTB): 0.87%
Republic Services (RSG): 0.62%

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