3 Stocks That Made a Warren Buffett a Big Winner

With the first quarter in the books, there are a number of companies that delivered great returns to Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway, including Wells Fargo, DirecTV and USG Corporation.

Apr 6, 2014 at 1:17PM

With the first quarter of 2014 officially in the books, The Motley Fool takes a look at some of the biggest winners from Warren Buffett's portfolio at Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A)(NYSE:BRK-B).

Stable performance
The first three months of 2014 have been interesting from a stock market perspective, as the S&P 500 fell nearly 6% from the beginning of January to February, but recovered nicely to just north of 1% through the end of March. Essentially the same return is true of Buffett, as the greater than $100 billion portfolio would've had a return of $1.1 billion, provided he didn't sell a single share in any company.

Interestingly enough though, Buffett saw 17 companies with their returns in the green, but 26 of them were in the red. Yet he had a few big winners, including his well-known position Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) along with big gains from DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) and the little discussed USG (NYSE:USG).

Wfc Matthew Devalle

Source: Flickr / Matthew Devalle.

The banking behemoth
Wells Fargo begun 2014 with the same continued and stable improvement which has marked it since the depths of the financial crisis. It announced that its net income in 2013 hit a new record, as it grew by 16% to $21.9 billion, and once again promised remarkable results compared to peers.

As a result, its stock price is up 10% and Buffett has netted more than $2 billion from the largest single position held by Berkshire.

Yet perhaps what is even more remarkable about Wells Fargo is the recent announcement of its approved plan from the Federal Reserve to bump its dividend from $0.30 to $0.35 per share, and raise its stock buyback budget. While the bank has been mum on the timing of its buybacks, it did announce its board of directors approved 350 million shares to be repurchased, which would be a staggering $17.5 billion worth at today's prices.

When you consider Buffett has long made known his affection for firms that repurchase shares and provide dividends, he likely is even happier about those plans than the increase in the stock price.

The television titan
The next holding of Buffett which delivered strong returns is DirecTV, which brought Buffett more than $250 million on the $2.5 billion investment. Like Wells Fargo, it too had a strong 2013, as its earnings per share jumped 18%. Its revenue was up in both the U.S. and Latin America, and it noted it added 1.2 million new subscribers on the year. 

In addition, DirecTV noted its board of directors approved a sizable repurchase plan -- $3.5 billion worth -- which follows $4.0 billion in share repurchases last year. Like Wells Fargo, one has to think Buffett applauds the move from DirecTV to buy back its stock.

The construction conglomerate
Last on the list is USG Corporation, a firm that manufactures construction materials. It announced remarkable results in February, and its stock rose 13% on the day it reported earnings where its sales were up 12%, and its earnings nearly doubled analysts' expectations. It's come down slightly since then, but altogether the company is up more than 15% through the first three months of the year.  

Currently Buffett owns more than 30% of the firm, so Buffett is undoubtedly excited to see great returns which boost the price of the stock. 

The bottom line
While things for Berkshire Hathaway weren't eye popping or staggering, even despite some big losses from his notable investments -- Coca-Cola hasn't had a great year thus far -- 2014 is once again shaping up to be another good year for Warren Buffett.

The greatest thing Warren Buffett ever said
Once again, Buffett has turned in another quarter with another few billion. Yet the thing is, Warren Buffett has made billions through his investing and he wants you to be able to invest like him. Through the years, Buffett has offered up investing tips to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway. Now you can tap into the best of Warren Buffett's wisdom in a new special report from The Motley Fool. Click here now for a free copy of this invaluable report.

Patrick Morris owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway. The Motley Fool recommends Berkshire Hathaway, DirecTV, and Wells Fargo. The Motley Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and Wells Fargo. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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