Here's What Berkshire Hathaway Sold Last Quarter

It's that time again, investors!

Berkshire Hathaway  (NYSE: BRK-B  ) just released its latest stock holdings today, and I've already spent some time dissecting exactly what Warren Buffett's company bought last quarter.

But now, let's take a look at the stocks Berkshire Hathaway most recently sold:

Company Shares Held Shares Sold in Q2 Market Value
(as of June 30, 2013) 
% of Portfolio % Change
Gannett (NYSE: GCI  ) 0 1,740,231 $0 0% (100%)
Mondelez (NASDAQ: MDLZ  ) 578,000 6,474,750 $16,490,000 0.02% (91%)
Kraft Foods (NASDAQ: KRFT  ) 192,666 1,409,395 $10,764,000 0.01% (87%)
Moody's (NYSE: MCO  ) 24,922,178 3,493,072 $1,518,508,000 1.71% (12%)
GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK  ) 1,476,021 34,479 $73,757,000 0.08 (2%)

Source: Berkshire Hathaway SEC filings.

So, what jumps out from this table? 

On one hand, newspaper publisher Gannett stands alone as the only company in which Berkshire Hathaway sold its entire stake last quarter. Note, however, the position was small, and even with shares of Gannet trading near their 52-week highs, Berkshire's shares would have been worth just over $42 million dollars at today's prices.

Berkshire's position in food and beverage specialist Mondelez, on the other hand, dropped by a much more significant dollar amount, as the stake it sold last quarter would have been worth more than $200 million at today's price of above $31 per share. As it stands, Berkshire's remaining position in the company is currently worth roughly $18 million.

In addition, and on a much more significant note, Berkshire also dumped a whopping 87% of its shares in Mondelez competitor Kraft Foods in Q2, which would have amounted more than $755 million at today's levels.

Of course, this shouldn't come as a huge surprise considering Berkshire has made a habit of reducing its stake in Kraft ever since Buffett criticized the company for its plan to issue new shares in a bid to acquire Cadbury back in 2009. As it turns out, Buffett first began selling Kraft to help finance Berkshire's acquisition of Burlington Northern Santa Fe in November the same year.

Berkshire also continued unloading its stake in financial services company Moody's last quarter, selling almost 3.5 million shares in Q2, which would have been worth around $225 million as of this writing. Remember, Berkshire started steadily unloading its stake in the ratings agency back in early 2009, when it owned around 48 million shares. For those of you keeping track, that's nearly double Berkshire's currently held number of Moody's shares.

Finally, Berkshire sold an inconsequential number of its shares in drug-maker GlaxoSmithKline, leaving the remaining stake in the company relatively unchanged.

What's an investor to do?
Of course, this doesn't mean you should go out and immediately sell each of these stocks. After all, we don't know exactly where Berkshire is putting this money to use, so it's hard to say whether these are truly "bad" investments. Who knows? Maybe Berkshire simply needed the money elsewhere -- say, for example, to finance another big acquisition or two.

In the end, the best investing approach is to choose great companies and stick with them for the long term. The Motley Fool's free report "3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich" names stocks that could help you build long-term wealth and retire well, along with some winning wealth-building strategies that every investor should be aware of. Click here now to keep reading.


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