Warren Buffett Is About To Reveal If His Unusual Stock Moves Continued

An upcoming regulatory filing should reveal whether Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB) chief Warren Buffett kept up a string of atypical investing moves.


A 13F filing for the first quarter is due Monday and will show which stocks Berkshire bought and sold. An earnings statement earlier this month revealed that he was, overall, a net seller of stocks in Q1.

Long seen as a buy-and-hold investor, recent quarters and years have seen Buffett make several buys and sells that took investors by surprise.

For instance, Buffett exited Pfizer (PFE) in Q4 2020, after picking up the coronavirus vaccine stock just the prior quarter. But Berkshire added to AbbVie (ABBV), Merck (MRK) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), after also buying those drug stocks for the first time in Q3 last year.

Similarly last year, the investing legend dumped his entire stake in several airline stocks such as Delta Air Lines (DAL), after making a surprise bet on the airline sector in 2016.

Last year, Berkshire’s Buffett also exited bank stocks like JPMorgan Chase (JPM), a holding since 2018, while sinking more than $2 billion into Bank of America (BAC), making the latter his No. 1 stock by number of shares at the end of 2020.

For many years, Buffett kept clear of tech stocks, saying he didn’t understand their business models.

But he began nibbling at Apple (AAPL) in 2016, Amazon (AMZN) in 2019, and Snowflake (SNOW), a new IPO stock, in 2020.

By the end of 2020, iPhone maker Apple was the No. 2 Warren Buffett stock by number of shares and No. 1 by market value, worth a whopping $117.71 billion. In fact, Buffett now calls Apple stock one of the “family jewels” and cuts to the stake last year a mistake.

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Shares of Berkshire Hathaway eased 0.5% on the stock market today. Apple lost 1% and Amazon rose 1.8%.

In another big investing shift, Buffett poured $27.4 billion into repurchasing Berkshire Hathaway stock in 2020. He bought back another $6.6 billion of its own shares in Q1 2021, so that the ultimate Warren Buffett stock appears, for now, to be Berkshire Hathaway.

Berkshire had long been leery of splurging on stock buybacks before loosening repurchase rules in 2018.

Find Aparna Narayanan on Twitter at @IBD_Aparna.


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