Mr. Buffett's Shopping List

You gotta love the SEC.

At least, if you're a voyeuristic investor, you do. Whether you like to imitate the stock trades of the rich, famous, and smarter-than-thou, or just exercise a healthy Foolish curiosity, without the SEC, how else would the average investor know that Peter Lynch lovedVarsity Group (Nasdaq: VSTY  ) ? Or that his love for the online bookseller has waned somewhat in recent months?

Or more to the point, you might be unaware that Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRKa  ) (NYSE: BRKb  ) is digging around Dennis Kozlowski's former stomping ground, Tyco. According to Berkshire's most recent Form 13F-HR, filed with the SEC yesterday, Mr. Buffett's value-investing machine has snapped up 5 million shares of the diversified manufacturer.

What else has Berkshire been buying? Let's see ... 3.2 million shares of SunTrust Banks (NYSE: STI  ) and 1 million shares of printer maker Lexmark. It upped its stake in e-payments powerhouse and Western Union parent First Data (NYSE: FDC  ) by 625,000 shares, a decision with which Inside Value guru Philip Durell would certainly concur.

Should we read something into Mr. Buffett's paired purchases of 945,000 shares of Home Depot (NYSE: HD  ) -- another of Philip's picks -- and 390,000 shares of competitor Lowe's (NYSE: LOW  ) ? Perhaps the Buffett household is looking to put in some crown molding, hasn't yet decided where to buy it, and wants to be sure of getting some of its money back? (Hmm ... that would be a lot of crown molding.)

Meanwhile, Congress-watchers -- along with flat-tax hawker Steve Forbes -- might find it intriguing that Berkshire recently dumped its entire 13.5-million-share stake in H&R Block (NYSE: HRB  ) . Perhaps Mr. Buffett knows something about President Bush's tax-reform plans that we have yet to learn? Maybe come April 15, we'll all be filing our income-tax returns on postcards after all.

A Fool can dream, can't he?

Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares in any company named above.


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