On Friday, Berkshire Hathaway, the company Buffett runs, released SEC filings showing the stocks that were bought, sold, and held in the fourth quarter of 2019. That means that Buffett’s top stock holdings overall are once again up to date.
In a 2018 letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, Buffett wrote that the company would aim to expand its holdings of marketable equities throughout 2019.
Part of the reason that Buffett has poured so much money into stocks is that he’s failed to make a major acquisition since 2016. “Prices are sky-high for businesses possessing decent long-term prospects,” he wrote in the letter. “We continue, nevertheless, to hope for an elephant-sized acquisition.”
At the same time, Berkshire Hathaway’s cash pile has exploded. At the end of the third quarter, the company’s earnings report showed that its cash holdings had grown to a record $128 billion, even as it repurchased $700 million of its own stock.
For Buffett, buying stocks instead of companies may present a “disappointing reality.” But for other investors, Buffett’s holdings are a coveted glimpse into what companies the “Oracle of Omaha” views as attractive. Even though he’s amassed quite a following over the course of his multi-decade career, Buffett warns that his expectation of stock purchases is “not a market call.”
He and Charlie Munger, his partner at Berkshire Hathaway, “have no idea as to how stocks will behave next week or next year,” he wrote. “Predictions of that sort have never been a part of our activities. Our thinking, rather, is focused on calculating whether a portion of an attractive business is worth more than its market price,” he said.
Here are the top 15 holdings of Berkshire Hathaway as of December 31, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings, ranked by the total value of each investment.
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