December 7, 2022

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15 Stocks Warren Buffett Is Buying (And 7 He’s Selling)

Warren Buffett went wild with Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRK.B, $309.29) checkbook during the first quarter, scooping up equities at his fastest pace since the Great Financial Crisis.

True, it took an epically bad start to the year for stocks and the worst inflation in four decades to lure Berkshire’s chairman and chief executive back into the market.

But he’s back, and in a big way.

The Berkshire Hathaway equity portfolio scooped up $41.5 billion in net stock purchases in the first quarter. That’s the most cash Buffett has splurged on equities in a quarter since 2008. 

Contrast that with last year, when Berkshire was a net seller of equities in all four quarters of 2021.

In addition to spending another $3.2 billion buying back BRK.B shares and acquiring insurer Alleghany outright for $11.6 billion, Buffett and his lieutenants Ted Weschler and Todd Combs found plenty of other ways to make a serious dent in the conglomerate’s cash pile.

Among the more notable moves, Buffett deployed serious financial resources into the energy sector in Q1, taking advantage of both rising oil prices and crude’s properties as an inflation hedge. Elsewhere, Apple’s (AAPL) Q1 stock skid prompted Buffett to add about $600 million to Berkshire’s top holding.

And, of course, we all remember that Buffett bought a commanding 11.4% stake in PC and printer maker HP (HPQ). 

We know what the greatest long-term investor of all time has been up to because the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission requires investment managers with at least $100 million in assets to file a Form 13F quarterly report disclosing changes in share ownership. These documents add an important level of transparency to the stock market and give Buffett-ologists a bead on what the Berkshire chief is thinking.

When Buffett initiates a stake in some company, or adds to an existing one, investors read into that as a vote of confidence. But if he pares his holdings in a stock, it can spark investors to rethink their own investments.

Here’s the scorecard for what Warren Buffett was buying and selling during the first quarter of 2022, based on Berkshire Hathaway’s 13F filed on May 16, 2022, for the period ended March 31, 2022. You can check out the entire list of Buffett stocks here, or continue reading if you’re most interested in Buffett’s most recent transactions.

And remember: Not all “Warren Buffett stocks” are actually his picks. Some of Berkshire Hathaway’s positions are handled by portfolio co-managers Weschler and Combs.

Current share prices are as of May 16, 2022. Holdings data is as of March 31, 2022. Sources: Berkshire Hathaway’s SEC Form 13F filed May 16, 2022, for the reporting period ended March 31, 2022; and WhaleWisdom.

1 of 22

Kroger

  • Action: Reduced stake
  • Shares held: 57,985,263 (-5% from Q4 2021)
  • Value of stake: $3,326,615,000

Warren Buffett once again reduced Berkshire Hathaway’s exposure to one of his more recent favorite stock picks in Q1. The holding company shed 3.4 million shares, or 5% of its stake, in supermarket operator Kroger (KR, $53.20).

The move followed another slight reduction in Q4, when Berkshire pared the stake by 350,000 shares, or less than 0.01%.  

Kroger operates roughly 2,750 retail food stores operating under such banners as Dillons, Ralphs, Harris Teeter and its namesake brand, as well as 1,585 gas stations and even 170 jewelry stores under banners including Fred Meyer Jewelers and Littman Jewelers.

Buffett first bought the consumer staples play in the fourth quarter of 2019 and quickly built on the position over the following two years. Shares are up by 120% on a total return basis since Oct. 1, 2019, vs. a total return of 43% for the S&P 500. 

More impressively, KR generated a total return of 27% for the year-to-date through March 31 – a period during which the broader market’s total return came to -4.6%. 

Perhaps Buffett was content to take a little off the top of what has been a winning position in an otherwise dismal year for equities. 

The KR position now accounts for 0.8% of Berkshire’s portfolio value, down from 0.9% at the end of 2021.

2 of 22

Store Capital

A Bass Pro Shops, which is one of the tenants of Store Capital
  • Action: Reduced stake
  • Shares held: 14,754,811 (-39% from Q4 2021)
  • Value of stake: $431,283,000

Berkshire slashed its position in Store Capital (STOR, $27.35) by 39%, or 9.7 million shares in Q1. 

The position, which Berkshire initiated in the summer of 2017, was always something of an unusual one. Real estate investment trusts (REITs) – a way to invest in real estate without owning the actual assets – have never been big among Buffett stocks.

Store invests in single-tenant properties including chain restaurants, supermarkets, drugstores and other retail, service and distribution facilities. That is to say, Store is a bet on brick-and-mortar retail, which is thought to be in permanent decline.

Buffett, however, spied value – and he spied it for quite some time. Store Capital CEO Christopher Volk told CNBC that Buffett studied the REIT for three years before taking his position.

STOR stock suffered through a rough first quarter, losing nearly 15% of its value while underperforming the broader market by about 10 percentage points. 

Store accounted for only 0.25% of Berkshire’s equity portfolio at the end of Q4. That’s now down to 0.12%. Any further decline in the share price will be even less material to BRK.B’s returns. 

Berkshire still remains important to Store, however. Even with just 5.4% of the REITs shares outstanding – down from 8.7% at Q4’s end – Berkshire remains its third largest shareholder after Vanguard and BlackRock.

3 of 22

Royalty Pharma

pills spilling out of bottle
  • Action: Reduced stake
  • Shares held: 1,496,372 (-82% from Q4 2021)
  • Value of stake: $58,299,000

Berkshire continued to unwind its relatively short-lived involvement with Royalty Pharma (RPRX, $40.26) in Q1, dumping 82% of its stake.

Given the size and nature of the investment, it was most likely handled by Ted Weschler or Todd Combs. 

Whomever was responsible, he appears to have had an abrupt change of heart at the end of 2021. Berkshire cut the position by 34% in Q4, just three months after initiating a stake of 13.1 million shares in Q3.

Berkshire has been shedding many of his bets in the healthcare sector for the past several quarters, and the tiny position in RPRX was not spared. 

Royalty Pharma, as the name might indicate, is focused on acquiring biopharmaceutical royalties. It doesn’t research or develop drugs – it helps provide capital for the companies that do. Through that model, RPRX has gotten a piece of blockbuster drugs such as AbbVie’s (ABBV) Imbruvica, Biogen’s (BIIB) Tysabri and Pfizer’s (PFE) Xtandi.

To be sure, RPRX was never a significant holding to begin with. It now accounts for just 0.02% of Berkshire Hathaway’s equity portfolio, down from 0.1% at the end of Q4.

4 of 22

Verizon Communications

Verizon store
  • Action: Reduced stake
  • Shares held: 1,380,111 (-99% from Q4 2021)
  • Value of stake: $70,303,000

Berkshire all but eliminated its bet on Verizon Communications (VZ, $49.04), the only telecommunications stock in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Buffett sold off 99% of the stake, leaving Berkshire with just 1.4 million shares worth $70.3 million at quarter’s end.

Verizon had all the making of a long-term Buffett holding when Berkshire initiated the stake during the fourth quarter of 2020. The blue-chip dividend payer with ample free cash flow looked right at home. In one fell swoop, the telco accounted for a sizable 3.2% of Berkshire’s total equity portfolio value.

Buffett even added to the VZ holding the following quarter, no doubt encouraged by Verizon’s growth prospects in the new era of 5G networking. 

But although dividends and defense never go out of style, the thesis on Verizon has changed in the intervening years. Rival T-Mobile US (TMUS) is challenging it for market share gains, for one thing. And more than a few Wall Street analysts fret about Verizon’s rising costs. 

Whatever Buffett’s reasons for selling, Verizon is now but a rump position in the Berkshire Hathaway equity portfolio, accounting for a measly 0.02% of its value.

5 of 22

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo bank
  • Action: Exited stake
  • Shares sold: 675,054
  • Value of stake: $0

Warren Buffett is at long last officially done with Wells Fargo (WFC, $42.21).

WFC, which had been in the Berkshire portfolio since 2001, is no more. Buffett sold off the remaining 675,054 shares Berkshire inexplicably still held onto after years of selling off the position. 

Wells Fargo was once considered among the most treasured of Buffett stocks. But it turned into a weight around the Oracle’s neck starting in 2016, when numerous scandals bubbled to the surface. The bank opened millions of phony accounts, modified mortgages without authorization and charged customers for auto insurance they did not need.

Buffett eventually started selling at the start of 2018. However, for several quarters, most of those sales appeared to be routine paring of the position to keep it below a regulatory 10% maximum ownership threshold for banks.

Then came the hacksaw:

  • Q4 2019: Buffett dumps more than 55 million shares (~15% of the position).
  • Q2 2020: Buffett jettisons another 85.6 million shares (~26%).
  • Q3 2020: Down go another 85.6 million shares (~46%).
  • Q4 2020: Berkshire unloads 75 million shares (~58%).
  • Q1 2021: Buffett makes his deepest cut yet, selling off 51.7 million shares, or 98.7% of the remaining position, all but eliminating WFC from the portfolio.
  • Q1 2022: The end.

6 of 22

Bristol-Myers Squibb

A sign in front of a Bristol Myers Squibb building
  • Action: Exited stake
  • Shares sold: 5,202,674
  • Value of stake: $0

As noted above, Berkshire reversed course on the healthcare sector some time ago, but he really accelerated his exits in Q1. 

Buffett sold off the holding company’s remaining stake in Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY, $76.91), dumping 5.2 million shares. The move was largely telegraphed three months ago when Berkshire cut its BMY stake by 76% during the fourth quarter of 2021.

Berkshire Hathaway first bought BMY in Q3 2020 and immediately added to the position in Q4 of that year. But the interest didn’t last long. And this past quarter’s move comes as part of a general retreat by Berkshire on bets in the pharmaceutical industry.

In the case of BMY, its late 2019 acquisition of biotech giant Celgene was thought to be a big part of Buffett’s attraction to the stock. The deal brought in a pair of blockbuster multiple myeloma treatments: Pomalyst and Revlimid, the latter of which also treats mantle cell lymphoma and myelodysplastic syndrome.

A long track record of successful acquisitions has kept the pharma company’s pipeline primed with big-name drugs over the years. Buffett, however, seems to have reset his expectations for BMY – and the broader sector.

7 of 22

AbbVie

A picture of an AbbVie (ticker: ABBV) building
  • Action: Exited stake
  • Shares sold: 3,033,561
  • Value of stake: $0

AbbVie (ABBV, $155.47) is yet another example of Berkshire’s total rethinking of its big pharma bets. The holding company sold off its remaining 3 million shares in ABBV in Q1.

Buffett first bought AbbVie during the third quarter of 2020 as part of a wider bet on the pharmaceutical industry. But Berkshire has all but given up on the position, gutting it over the past four consecutive quarters.

The pharma giant is best known for blockbuster drugs such as Humira and Imbruvica, but analysts are also optimistic about the potential for its cancer-fighting and immunology drugs.

ABBV seemed like a classic Buffett stock in certain respects – namely, the biopharma firm’s storied dividend history. AbbVie is an S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrat, by virtue of having raised its dividend every year for 50 years. The most recent hike – an 8.5% increase to the quarterly payment to $1.41 per share – was declared in October 2021.

8 of 22

Apple

people standing outside of Apple store
  • Action: Added to stake
  • Shares held: 890,923,410 (+0.4% from Q4 2021)
  • Value of stake: $155,564,138,000

Warren Buffett absolutely adores Apple (AAPL, $145.54), and he took a three-day dip in the share price to add to Berkshire’s holdings.

He wanted even more.

“Unfortunately the stock went back up, so I stopped,” he told CNBC following the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting. “Otherwise who knows how much we would have bought?”

At 43% of the portfolio, AAPL is Berkshire’s largest position by far, and Buffett wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I don’t think of Apple as a stock,” Buffett has said about Apple. “I think of it as our third business.”

It might as well be. Berkshire is Apple’s third-largest investor with an 887 million-share stake representing about 5.5% of all shares outstanding. Only Vanguard and BlackRock – giants of the passively managed index fund universe – hold more Apple stock.

The Oracle of Omaha has only occasionally dabbled in technology stocks. But he bought Apple with two fists, and he’s more than happy to discuss his ardor for AAPL. As he has said more than once on CNBC, he loves the power of Apple’s brand and its ecosystem of products (such as the iPhone and iPad) and services (such as Apple Pay and iTunes).

“It’s probably the best business I know in the world,” Buffett said a year ago. “And that is a bigger commitment that we have in any business except insurance and the railroad.”

This has been an exceptionally fruitful investment for Buffett. AAPL shares have gained more than 430% on a price basis alone since the end of Q1 2016, when Berkshire initiated its stake. The broader market has barely doubled in price over the same span.

9 of 22

General Motors

General Motors' Hummer electric vehicle is built in a GM ZERO plant
  • Action: Added to stake
  • Shares held: 62,045,847 (+3% from Q4 2021)
  • Value of stake: $2,713,886,000

Buffett apparently went bargain hunting in General Motors (GM, $37.10) stock in Q1, upping Berkshire’s stake by 3%. 

Shares in the automaker lost a quarter of their value over the first three months of 2022, which improved both GM’s dividend yield and its stock’s valuation. 

Buffett first took a stake in General Motors in early 2012, and became increasingly constructive on the world’s fourth-largest auto manufacturer by production. He raised BRK.B’s stake in 2018, 2019 and 2020, but then went into reverse and cut exposure as recently as 2021.

General Motors has always looked like another classic Buffett value bet. After all, there are fewer American brands more iconic than GM. He also has sung the praises of CEO Mary Barra on several occasions. And the stock perennially trades at crazy-cheap multiples of expected earnings.

GM is still a relatively small position, accounting for less than 1% of Berkshire’s portfolio, but the recent buying, if nothing else, shows Buffett hasn’t given up on this iconic name.

10 of 22

RH

An RH store
  • Action: Added to stake
  • Shares held: 2,170,000 (+19% from Q4 2021)
  • Value of stake: $707,615,000

Berkshire gave a large vote of confidence to RH (RH, $279.83) in Q1, which many readers know as Restoration Hardware. 

The holding company upped its position by 19%, or 2.2 million shares. Berkshire’s total holdings were worth $708 million as of March 31. Berkshire, which was already positioned in home furnishings retail via its Nebraska Furniture Mart subsidiary, initiated the RH position Q3 2019, and added to it by 1% at the end of last year.

RH operates 104 retail and outlet stores across the U.S. and Canada. It also owns Waterworks, a high-end bath-and-kitchen retailer with 14 showrooms.

While brick-and-mortar retailers have struggled mightily over the past few years thanks in part to the rise of e-commerce, RH has found success catering to the upper crust. And that success continued throughout the COVID pandemic as Americans, forced to work from home, decided to spend on improving their environs.

It’s hard to tell whether this was an Oracle of Omaha buy, or a project of one of his lieutenants, Ted Weschler or Todd Combs. Buffett has been mostly mum on RH. Still, the stake fits broadly with the Oracle’s worldview. Buffett stocks tend to be bets on America’s growth, which certainly includes housing-related industries.

With 10.1% of RH’s shares outstanding, Berkshire Hathaway is the company’s second largest stockholder.

11 of 22

Formula One Group

A group of Formula 1 cars at the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain
  • Action: Added to stake
  • Shares held: 7,722,451 (+264% from Q4 2021)
  • Value of stake: $539,336,000

In a position most likely handled by Ted Weschler, Berkshire more than tripled its stake in Formula One Group (FWONK, $60.22). The purchase of an additional 5.6 million shares brings the conglomerate’s total holdings up to 7.7 million shares worth $539 million as of March 31.

Berkshire initiated the stake in Q4 – a minuscule one of just 2.1 million shares, worth $134 million at the time. Even now FWONK accounts for only 0.15% of Berkshire’s portfolio value.

FWONK holds commercial rights for the Formula One World Championship – a nine-month long motor race-based competition in which teams compete for the constructors’ championship and drivers compete for the drivers’ championship. 

Formula One Group also is a subsidiary of John Malone’s Liberty Media Corporation, making FWONK yet another of several Berkshire investments tied to the billionaire businessman. Weschler, in his pre-Berkshire career as a hedge fund manager, invested in a number of Malone’s businesses.

12 of 22

Chevron

A Chevron gas station
  • Action: Added to stake
  • Shares held: 159,178,117 (+316% from Q4 2021)
  • Value of stake: $25,918,973,000

It had been nearly impossible to get a bead on Buffett & Co.’s holdings in the energy sector over the past couple years.

Consider some of Uncle Warren’s moves:

  • Q4 2019: Sold off most of his Phillips 66 (PSX) position, but added more than 150% to his Occidental Petroleum (OXY) stake, and nearly 40% to a Suncor (SU) stake.
  • Q1 2020: Fully exited Phillips 66.
  • Q2 2020: Bailed out of his Occidental position, but upped Suncor by 28%.
  • Q4 2020: Initiated a position in Chevron (CVX, $173.01), but dropped more than a quarter of the Suncor position.
  • Q1 2021: Exited Suncor, sold more than half the Chevron position.

But now, after making another small trim to CVX during the second quarter of 2020, Buffett has come back with vengeance. He upped Berkshire’s Chevron stake by 24% in the third quarter, by 33% in the fourth quarter, and now by more than 300% in Q1.

Chevron, a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, is flush with cash thanks to skyrocketing prices for crude oil. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine helped global benchmark Brent crude oil futures hit nearly $140 a barrel at one point during the first quarter.

The energy sector is now awash in cash, and companies such as Chevron are returning this windfall to shareholders through dividends and buybacks.

Make no mistake: there are few things Buffett likes more than dividends and buybacks. 

It also helps that oil is a solid hedge against inflation. With prices rising at the fastest pace in four decades, cash is trash. Berkshire’s massive pile of cash, equivalents and short-term investments is much better put to use in an asset like Chevron under such conditions.

13 of 22

Activision Blizzard

T-Pain performs during an event celebrating the launch of Call of Duty: Vanguard
  • Action: Added to stake
  • Shares held: 64,315,222 (+338% from Q4 2021)
  • Value of stake: $5,152,292,000

We know that either Ted Weschler or Todd Combs first bought shares in video game publisher Activision Blizzard (ATVI, $78.00) in Q4. Buffett said so. 

But it was the Oracle of Omaha himself who upped the position by 338% in Q1. 

The original purchase was simply great timing. In mid-January, Microsoft (MSFT) agreed to pay $68.7 billion, or $95 a share in cash, for ATVI. At the time the deal was announced, the software titan was paying a premium of roughly 30% to the video game maker’s most recent closing price. 

BRK.B, however, bought more than 14.6 million shares in ATVI – worth $975.2 million as of Dec. 31 – during the fourth quarter at an estimated average price of $66.53 per share. That was a quick score. 

As for the latest purchases, that’s a bet by Buffett that the deal will indeed close. It’s an arbitrage play, and we know this because Buffett said as much at Berkshire’s annual meeting.

“It is my purchases, not the manager who bought it some months ago,” Buffett said about the latest Activision buys. “If the deal goes through, we make some money, and if the deal doesn’t go through, who knows what happens.”

Activision shareholders approved the company’s sale to Microsoft, but some investors are betting the deal could be scuttled by antitrust regulators.

14 of 22

Floor & Decor

carpet tiles
  • Action: Added to stake
  • Shares held: 4,780,000 (+466% from Q4 2021)
  • Value of stake: $387,180,000

Warren Buffett very much kept in line with some of his other investments in home retail when he initiated a stake in Floor & Decor (FND, $69.80) in the third quarter of 2021, then added to the stake in Q4.

But he really put an exclamation point on the investment in Q1 2022, adding another 3.9 million shares. FND went from a negligible 0.03% of Berkshire’s portfolio to a more significant 0.1%.

Floor & Decor sells hard surface flooring and related accessories primarily through 133 company-operated warehouse store formats.

It remains a small position, to be sure, but it still fits nicely with some of Buffett’s other holdings and investments.

Berkshire, for example, has been building a position in home goods retailer RH since the third quarter of 2019. And he’s made no secret of his love for Berkshire Hathaway’s wholly owned subsidiary Nebraska Furniture Mart.

Floor & Decor thus appears to be a way to play the housing market, albeit with a somewhat oblique, Buffett-style angle.

15 of 22

Ally Financial

banking on cell phone next to latte
  • Action: New stake
  • Shares held: 8,969,420
  • Value of stake: $389,990,000

Ally Financial (ALLY, $38.73) shareholders no doubt appreciated getting Warren Buffett’s vote of confidence. The stock is off roughly 30% over the past 52 weeks, including a 19% drop year-to-date and a 9% decline in the first quarter, when Berkshire Hathaway set up camp.

Ally Financial has actually done business for more than a century, though for most of that time it operated as General Motors Acceptance Corporation. It rebranded is Ally in 2010, then went public in 2014. Its main businesses are Ally Bank, an online bank that offers traditional products such as savings and checking services, CDs and IRAs; and Ally Invest, which provides securities-brokerage and investment-advisory services.

After a couple of years of shedding many of his bank holdings, Buffett appears ready to get back into the space. That said, the Ally stake isn’t anything to gawk at – the roughly $390 million stake amounts to just a tenth of a percent of Berkshire’s overall equity holdings. 

It’s not an insignificant chunk of Ally Financial, however. Berkshire’s 2.7% stake makes it the financial institution’s fifth-largest shareholder.

16 of 22

Markel

person signing financial papers
  • Action: New stake
  • Shares held: 420,293
  • Value of stake: $620,034,000

It’s possible that Buffett saw something familiar and comforting in the shares of insurance and investment firm Markel (MKL, $1,325.11). 

At more than a thousand bucks a pop, MKL stock isn’t as easy for traders to push up and down as your garden-variety stock. That’s precisely why Warren Buffett has never split Berkshire’s A-class shares, whose $460,000 price tag would be enough to buy your average-priced home in Massachusetts with enough left over to park a couple new Mini Coopers in the garage.

Markel is a three-pronged financial institution. Its three major business lines are insurance (insurance, reinsurance, fronting and insurance-linked securities); investing; and Markel Ventures. The latter is a growing portfolio of companies, such as luxury handbag maker Brahmin, homebuilder Eagle and architectural product maker Panel Specialists.

Buffett merely dipped a toe into this position during the first quarter of 2022, buying about 420,000 shares, or $620 million worth of the financial stock. That’s less than two-tenths of a percent of the equity portfolio, though it’s a 3.1% position in Markel – good enough to make the Oracle its fifth-largest shareholder.

17 of 22

McKesson

A McKesson (ticker: MCK) employee checking boxes of supplies
  • Action: New stake
  • Shares held: 2,921,975
  • Value of stake: $894,504,000

Buffett exited a pair of pharma/biotech holdings during the first quarter and heavily sold out of a third. But that doesn’t mean he’s done with the healthcare sector.

McKesson (MCK, $327.83) offers a number of healthcare solutions – including supply chain management, retail pharmacy, community oncology and specialty care – in 14 countries. For instance, its pharmaceutical distribution business serves 40,000 retail chains, long-term care providers and other customers, while its medical-surgical supplies business gets hundreds of thousands of products – everything from bandages to exam tables – to hospitals and doctor’s offices across the nation.

McKesson is one of the few Buffett stocks that was bought on the way up. MCK shares surged by 23% during the first quarter and are currently up 32% year-to-date.

That said, Berkshire didn’t buy too many of its shares. The new position comes to just about $900 million, or a quarter of a percent of Berkshire Hathaway’s equity portfolio, putting it around the middle of the pack. Buffett, however, becomes a top-10 shareholder, as his 2.9 million shares represent a nearly 2% stake.

18 of 22

Celanese

A Celanese (ticker: CE) chemistry lab
  • Action: New stake
  • Shares held: 7,880,998
  • Value of stake: $1,125,958,000

Berkshire became a top-five shareholder in Celanese (CE, $144.68) in Q1, initiating a position that accounts for 7.3% of the chemical company’s shares outstanding.

The holding is less meaningful for Berkshire, however, comprising just 0.3% of its equity portfolio. With 7.9 million shares worth $1.1 billion, the relatively small size of the CE investments suggests that it was likely the doing of either Weschler or Combs. 

Either way, the commanding stake in the firm known for acetic acid and vinyl acetate monomer gives Berkshire its only position in the materials sector. 

In addition to giving Berkshire exposure to a part of the market that it had lacked, Celanese has strong long-term growth prospects and a commitment to returning cash to shareholders.

Analysts forecast the company to generate average annual earnings per share growth of more than 17% over the next three to five years, for one thing. Meanwhile, CE has raised its dividend annually for 14 years. Even better, from Berkshire’s point of view, is the company’s history of share repurchases.

Buffett generally prefers buybacks to dividends not only because they’re more tax efficient (dividends get taxed twice), but because they increase an investor’s claim on earnings without the investor having to lift a finger.

19 of 22

Paramount Global

A lineup of Paramount Global's (ticker: PARA) Paramount+ shows
  • Action: New stake
  • Shares held: 68,947,760
  • Value of stake: $2,606,915,000

Paramount Global (PARA, $28.02) is a mass media and entertainment organization that resulted from 2019’s merger between Viacom and CBS. Its properties include Paramount Pictures’ film and television studios, CBS, The CW, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, BET, CMT and Showtime. 

It also gives Buffett three more streaming properties – Paramount+, Showtime OTT and Pluto TV – to add alongside Apple’s (AAPL) Apple TV+ and Amazon.com’s (AMZN) Amazon Prime.

Admittedly, Paramount+ is something of a second-tier streamer. Its 62 million subscribers pales in comparison to the likes of Netflix’s (NFLX) 221 million subscribers or Amazon Prime’s 149 million.

While it’s not a traditional value category, PARA very much looks like a Buffett value bet. Paramount’s shares trade at just 9 times estimates and at a price/earnings-to-growth (PEG) ratio of around 0.8 (anything less than one is considered undervalued). Shares now yield more than 3% at current prices, too.

Buffett dug in with both hands, too. The $2.6 billion buy-in during the first quarter makes Berkshire Paramount’s top shareholder with an 11.3% stake. That said, PARA isn’t a huge presence in the Berkshire Hathaway equity portfolio at a weight of 0.7%.

20 of 22

Citigroup

A giant Citibank sign sprawled across a building. Citibank is part of Citigroup (ticker: C).
  • Action: New stake
  • Shares held: 55,155,797
  • Value of stake: $2,945,319,000

After Uncle Warren ended his longtime relationship with Wells Fargo, he rekindled things with another old financial flame – Citigroup (C, $47.46) – entering a new stake roughly 20 years after he exited the last one.

Financial stocks broadly failed to gain any traction during the first quarter of 2022, but Citigroup really struggled, declining by roughly 12% between the start of the year and March 31. However, that dip might have been the push Buffett needed to enter the nation’s fourth-largest bank by assets.

Citigroup has been the weakest of the Big Four banks over the past year, losing more than a third of its value over that time. That has in turn made Citigroup look like quite the value play; shares currently trade at just 7 times next year’s earnings estimates and now yield north of 4%. 

This was a relatively big splash by Berkshire, too. The nearly $3 billion position immediately puts Citigroup within the holding company’s top 15 positions. It also translates into a 2.8% stake Warren Buffett the fourth-largest shareholder in the bank, behind fund giants Vanguard (8.5%), BlackRock (8.3%) and State Street (4.7%).

21 of 22

HP

Concept art of an HP (ticker: HPQ) laptop
  • Action: New stake
  • Shares held: 104,476,035
  • Value of stake: $3,792,480,000

Buffett dipped into Berkshire’s massive cash pile in Q1 to initiate a commanding position in HP (HPQ, $37.51). And this big new bet on a PC and printer maker appears to be another classic Buffett value play. 

HPQ generates a steady and ample stream of free cash flow (FCF) – the cash left after expenses, capital expenditures and financial commitments have been met – or an average of nearly $4 billion a year over the past five years. 

Industry analysts expect that FCF number to increase and – most importantly – to flow into investors’ pockets. 

Free cash flow supports dividends, and it’s no secret Buffett adores dividends. HPQ, for its part, has been not only a generous dividend payer, but a dividend grower. The company has increased its payout annually for 13 years. The most recent hike came in November – a 29% increase in the quarterly disbursement to 25 cents per share.

True, the market for PCs and printers is hardly overflowing with growth prospects. But HPQ has a solid track record of slow but steady gains on the top line. Wall Street analysts see this incremental revenue growth continuing for years, all helped by recent strategic acquisitions. 

And then there’s HPQ’s valuation, which Buffett appears to have found irresistible. 

Buffett, with 11.4% of HP’s shares outstanding, snatched up a boring but dependable cash machine at a bargain price.

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Occidental Petroleum

Oil rigs like those used by Occidental Petroleum (ticker: OXY)
  • Action: New stake
  • Shares held: 136,373,000
  • Value of stake: $7,737,804,000

Warren Buffett has been absolutely hoovering up stock in Occidental Petroleum (OXY, $67.72).

In a flurry of Q1 purchases, Berkshire bought more than 136 million OXY shares, or 14.6% of the integrated oil and gas company’s shares outstanding.

The stake, worth $7.7 billion as of March 31, coincides with the ongoing melt-up in energy prices, which was sparked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Global benchmark Brent crude oil futures hit nearly $140 a barrel at one point during the first three months of the year.

It also helps that oil tends to be a good hedge against inflation, which is rising at a pace not seen in four decades. 

Like the rest of the industry, OXY is flush with cash, which it is returning to shareholders through dividends and buybacks – both of which Buffett loves. 

The Occidental common shares Buffett purchased only added to its already substantial exposure to the energy firm, which includes $10 billion worth of 8% preferred shares, as well as 84 million warrants to purchase OXY stock. Occidental shares must trade above the warrants’ exercise price of $59.62 for the warrants to be in the money. 

Berkshire is Occidental’s largest shareholder by a wide margin. Vanguard, with a 10.9% ownership stake, comes in a distant second.