terça-feira, 11 de novembro de 2008

Betting On Buffett


Within a few weeks, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway will make its first 13-F filings for the September quarter, but we have provided a look at his portfolio, based on Berkshire's most recent regulatory filings ( Form 13-F) for the quarter ended June 30, 2008.

Berkshire is only required to reveal investments listed on U.S. exchanges. For example, it does not routinely disclose information in its 13-F filings about its stake in Posco (nyse: PKX - news people ), a South Korean steelmaker, or Tesco (nasdaq: TESO - news people ), a British supermarket. In addition, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission often allows Berkshire to file confidentially on certain holdings to thwart copycat investing.

It is certainly worth keeping an eye on Buffett's moves. Even with the delay in filings, mimicking Berkshire's buys has generated annual returns of 25%, double the return of the S&P 500, according to a 2007 study of Berkshire's purchases from 1976 to 2006 by Gerald Martin, a finance professor at American University, and John Puthenpurackal, a professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

-- Godwin Maidment

Shares (millions)
Value ($mil.)
% of Portfolio
% Stake in Co
American Express (nyse: AXP)Credit Services151.6$5,711.29.6%13.1%
Anheuser-Busch Cos (nyse: BUD)Beverages-Brewers13.8860.11.41.9
Bank of America (nyse: BAC)Money Center Banks9.1217.20.40.2
Burlington Northern Santa Fe (nyse: BNI)Railroads63.86,371.510.718.5
CarMax (nyse: KMX)Auto Dealerships21.3302.20.59.7
Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO)Beverages-Soft Drinks200.010,396.017.58.7
Comcast (nasdaq: CMCSA)Broadcasting & Cable TV12.0227.60.40.4
Comdisco Holding (nasdaq: CDCO)Business Services1.514.70.038.2
ConocoPhillips (nyse: COP) *Integrated Oil & Gas17.51,652.62.81.2
Costco Wholesale (nasdaq: COST)Discount Stores5.3368.50.61.2
Gannett (nyse: GCI)Newspapers3.474.70.11.5
General Electric (nyse: GE)Conglomerates7.8207.60.30.1
GlaxoSmithKline (nyse: GSK)Drug Manufacturers1.566.80.10.1
Home Depot (nyse: HD)Home Improvement Stores4.
Ingersoll-Rand (nyse: IR)Diversified Machinery5.6211.00.41.8
Iron Mountain (nyse: IRM)Business Services3.489.50.21.7
Johnson & Johnson (nyse: JNJ)Diversified Healthcare61.83,973.36.72.2
Kraft Foods (nyse: KFT)Diversified Foods138.33,933.96.69.1
Lowe's Cos (nyse: LOW)Home Improvement Stores7.0145.30.20.5
M&T Bank (nyse: MTB)Regional Banks6.7473.70.86.1
Moody's (nyse: MCO)Business Services48.01,653.12.819.7
Nike (nyse: NKE)Footwear & Accessories7.6455.50.81.6
Norfolk Southern (nyse: NSC)Railroads1.9121.10.20.5
NRG Energy (nyse: NRG)Electric Utilities3.2138.90.21.4
Procter & Gamble (nyse: PG)Personal & Household Products105.86,436.610.83.5
Sanofi-Aventis (nyse: SNY)Drug Manufacturers3.9129.70.20.1
SunTrust Banks(nyse: STI)Regional Banks3.2116.10.20.9
Torchmark (nyse: TMK)Life Insurance2.8165.60.33.2
U.S. Bancorp (nyse: USB)Regional Banks68.61,914.13.23.9
Union Pacific (nyse: UNP)Railroads8.9672.41.11.8
United Parcel Service (nyse: UPS)Air Delivery & Freight Services1.487.90.10.1
UnitedHealth Group (nyse: UNH)Business Services6.4168.00.30.5
USG (nyse: USG)Building Materials17.1504.80.817.2
Wabco Holdings (nyse: WBC)Auto Parts2.7125.40.23.9
Wal-Mart Stores (nyse: WMT)Discount Sotres19.91,
Washington Post Co. (Cl B)Newspapers & Educational Services1.71,014.01.718.5
WellPoint (nyse: WLP)Managed Health Care4.8228.80.40.9
Wells Fargo & Co (nyse: WFC)Money Center Banks290.76,903.111.68.8
Wesco Financial (nyse: WSC)Conglomerates5.72,178.63.780.1
As of June 30 2008Total Holdings59,529.9
*In its latest filing for the quarter ending June 30 2008, Berkshire Hathaway ommitted information pertaining to its position in ConocoPhillips but submited a separate, confidential filing with the SEC. Berkshire Hathaway reported owning 17,508,700 shares of ConocoPhillips as of March 31.

The Latest

According to the 13-F filing for the quarter ending June 30, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (nyse:BRK - news people ) boosted its stakes in Ingersoll-Rand (nyse: IR - news people ) and Sanofi-Aventis (nyse: SNY - news people ), while cutting its stake in Anheuser-Busch (nyse: BUD - news -people ). Berkshire also announced a new position in electric utility NRG Energy (nyse: NRG - news -people ).

Berkshire's stake in Anheuser-Busch decreased 61%, from $2.4 billion to $860 million, at the end of the second quarter. Anheuser shares rose 32% in the second quarter. It is not clear whether Berkshire began cutting its stake before or after InBev's interest in buying the St. Louis brewer surfaced in May.

Buffett said in an August interview on CNBC that initially he was not sure the deal would go through, given Anheuser's initial resistance to InBev's offer. Anheuser-Busch finally agreed to the Belgian brewer's buyout for $52 billion, or $70 per share, on July 14.

Ingersoll-Rand, which makes refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment, jumped dramatically in the Berkshire portfolio: from 936,000 to 5.6 million shares. Part of the increase came from Ingersoll-Rand's stock-and-cash acquisition of Trane, which it completed on June 5, paying 0.23 of an Ingersoll-Rand share and $36.50 in cash for each Trane share. Berkshire held 10.9 million shares of Trane at the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Berkshire's position in French drug maker Sanofi-Aventis increased 9%, to 3.9 million shares, worth $130 million as of June 30. The number of Berkshire's Union Pacific (nyse: UNPnews people ) shares doubled from the first quarter, but not because of additional purchases by Berkshire. Union Pacific completed a 2-for-1 stock split in late May.

Berkshire announced one new investment, over 3 million shares of NRG Energy worth $139 million. NRG Energy, of Princeton, N.J., the second-biggest power producer in Texas, has 44 power plants located in North America, Australia and Germany. NRG shares rose 6% on Aug. 15 after Berkshire revealed its stake.

Information on Berkshire's stake in ConocoPhillips (nyse: COP - news people ) is omitted from the second-quarter filing, and it is not clear whether Berkshire is beefing up or reducing its investment in the oil and natural gas company. Berkshire held 17.5 million ConocoPhillips shares at the end of the first quarter.

More recently, Buffett has been putting Berkshire's cash to work as the credit crisis deepens. On Sept. 18, Berkshire subsidiary MidAmerican Energy Holdings (other-otc: MDPWL.PK - news -people ) announced a deal to buy Constellation Energy (nyse: CEG - news people ) for $4.7 billion, or $26.50 a share, in cash. Constellation had begun the year trading above $100 per share; its stock had plunged in September after Standard & Poor's put its debt rating on watch amid worries about the liquidity of its commodities trading business. Constellation will issue MidAmerican $1 billion of preferred equity at a yield of 8% as part of the deal.

On Sept. Goldman Sachs (nyse: GS - news people ) announced that Buffett was coming to its aid, exchanging $5 billion for a Goldman preferred stock offering with a yield of 10%. As part of the deal, Berkshire also received warrants to buy an additional $5 billion in common stock with a strike price of $115 a share any time over the next five years. In another preferred stock-deal, on Oct. 1, Buffett revealed that he had made a $3 billion investment in General Electric (nyse: GE - news people ).

On Sept. 29, MidAmerican Energy said it had bought a 10% stake in Hong Kong-listed BYD Company Limited for $230 million. BYD makes and sells rechargeable batteries, automobile batteries and related products. The company is the largest producer of nickel-cadmium batteries in the world. Its subsidiary BYD Auto is building electric-hybrid cars that it plans to sell in China later this year and in Europe by the end of the decade. MidAmerican said it would partner with BYD to develop batteries to store energy generated by wind and solar collectors.

Most recently, on Oct. 30 Berkshire Hathaway revealed in a regulatory filing that it had added 825,000Burlington Northern Santa Fe (nyse: BNI - news people ) shares. Berkshire now owns 18.9% of the railroad's common stock.

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