Warren Buffett-led conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A)(NYSE:BRK.B) recently released its latest snapshot of its stock portfolio, and to say that the second quarter was an active one would be an understatement. In this episode of Industry Focus: Financials, host Jason Moser and Fool.com contributor Matt Frankel, CFP, discuss the Oracle of Omaha's latest moves, including dramatic reductions in JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), and other bank stocks, as well as an addition to Berkshire's favorite REIT, STORE Capital (NYSE:STOR). And with the addition of Barrick Gold (NYSE:GOLD), has Buffett changed his tune on precious metals? Plus, the pair discusses the current record-low mortgage rate environment and whether it might make sense to refinance your home. All this and their latest stocks to watch on this week's installment!
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This video was recorded on Aug. 17, 2020.
Jason Moser: It's Monday, Aug. 17th. I'm your host Jason Moser, and on this week's Financial show we're picking up where we left off last week with the Berkshire Hathaway conversation, except this week we're going to dig into the company's most recently filed 13F to take a closer look at some of the investing moves they've been making over there on the street.
Back from a well-deserved rest, it's CFP, certified and fully prepared, Matt Frankel. [laughs] He's looking tanned, he's looking rested. Matt, how is everything going?
Matt Frankel: [laughs] Oh, pretty good. I take one week of unplugging time each year and this was it, so. It's always weird getting back in the swing of things after a week off. You know, the first time I try to write something, like, I have to remember my process again.
Moser: Yeah, I'm right there with you, it is -- yeah, this is a creative job in many ways, and when you unplug fully you realize you, sort of, you leave that creative instinct behind. And that's one of those things you really, it needs ongoing practice, it needs constant attention. And otherwise, yeah, you just spend a week just trying to get your head back in order. But regardless, you need to be taking more than one week a year away, man, get a little bit more time out there while you can, because time flies, there's no doubt about it. And all of a sudden, your kids are ready to go to college [laughs] and you're wondering where it all went.
Frankel: Yeah, we definitely go away a little more often, but usually I have, like, kind of a working vacation, like I'll get some stuff done while they're asleep, but this time, I didn't even bring my laptop when we go to the beach.
Moser: Tip of the cap to you there, man! That's a difficult thing to do these days, is to completely unplug. I don't even know that I've done that in ages. I mean, it does seem like, regardless, the work always follows and there's always a way to be connected, and I don't think that's going to change anytime soon. But you know, hey, listen, I need to copy, I need to mimic your willpower there, man, that would be a good idea.
We want to jump in this week -- the story this week, really, it's going to be a fun discussion, I think, because Berkshire Hathaway is such an interesting point of discussion for so many reasons. I mean, the angles with this company from what it does, its investment portfolio, leadership questions -- I mean, we got Warren and Charlie getting up there in years, so then what does this company look like for this next generation of investors? And one of the ways that we dive into that quarter-in and quarter-out, is we take a look at the 13F filings from the company.
Now, for those who don't know what the 13F is, just a little quick background here, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the SEC, requires institutional investment managers with at least $100 million in assets under management to disclose Form 13F every quarter. And that's something that tells us what they're doing with their equity holdings, what they're buying and what they're selling. And certainly, that is a big part of the thesis with Berkshire Hathaway, a lot of the interest with Berkshire Hathaway, the investment portfolio that they manage. And so, the 13F came out over the weekend, Matt. And you know, it takes a little bit of connecting the dots to really find out what exactly is going on, but there was a lot going on with Berkshire Hathaway this past quarter.
And I think the first, the headline really, is the bank stock sales. And we've talked a lot about this on the show, ongoing over the past couple of years, but this is an interesting, sort of, change in what maybe we're seeing is Berkshire Hathaway's preferred bank or favorite bank, because for the longest time it was Wells Fargo, it does feel like they're shifting away from Wells Fargo and toward another very familiar big bank, don't you think, Matt?
Frankel: Sure, and all of Berkshire's bank holdings were definitely the biggest story of the 13F in terms of dollar amount. I think it was the second most surprising move, which we'll get to in a minute. But Wells Fargo is the big story here.
For the longest time, Berkshire Hathaway owned almost 10% of Wells Fargo, they kept the stake just under 10% for regulatory reasons; you know, sold just enough so that the stake would stay under that 10% mark. Now, we're seeing that that's not the case. Berkshire sold more than a quarter of its Wells Fargo holdings and now owns about a little less than 6% of the bank, really trimming down the holdings of Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo is now Berkshire's third-biggest financial stock behind Bank of America and American Express. So, it went from No. 1 to No. 3 in pretty short order.
Now, some of the reason it's down to No. 3 is because Wells Fargo has been absolutely clobbered over the past couple of years after the fake account scandal and all the other wrongdoings that they had, and because their business is just getting killed in the pandemic, they don't have an investment bank to prop them up, which like, we've discussed before. So, that was the biggest bank story.
But Berkshire sold some of pretty much every one [laughs] of its bank holdings with very few exceptions. Just to, kind of, run through some of the numbers. Berkshire sold all of its Goldman Sachs, which really surprised me.
Moser: Yeah, that did surprise me too. I mean, all of it. It seemed like -- I mean, I was surprised by that.
Frankel: Yeah, that was a surprising one. Here's the one that'll really surprise you, Berkshire sold 5% of its Visa stake and 7% of its Mastercard stake.
Moser: What is he doing? Doesn't he know about the war on cash?
Frankel: Right. He sold 61% of JPMorgan. So, he sold almost two-thirds of the JPMorgan Chase stake, which was pretty new.
Moser: Yeah. Well, I mean, in particular when you think about Buffett's affection for Jamie Dimon; I mean, it's not a secret, right? I mean, they seem to be, kind of, two peas in a pod, in very many ways.
Frankel: Right. And I mean, just going to some of the little banks, PNC Bank, he reduced by 41%; M&T Bank by 15%; Bank of New York Mellon, they reduced by 9%. So, that might leave you asking the question, what's left out of the bank stocks? So, the two that weren't touched were American Express, which is now Berkshire's No. 2 bank holding. American Express technically is a bank; if you didn't know that already. And Bank of America, which is now by far the No. 1 bank holding.
And what's really interesting to me about the Bank of America, not only did Berkshire not reduce its Bank of America, but we learned later on that Berkshire has since added to Bank of America in the third quarter. All those headlines about Buffett buying more Bank of America that happened after this report covered. So, it's almost like he's shifting money away from the other banks into Bank of America, because he bought several billion dollars of additional Bank of America stock in the third quarter. So, it looks like he's almost like picking a favorite, like you said.
Moser: So, what do you think drove the -- I mean, that's a lot of selling in the banking industry specifically. Obviously, he was maintaining at least a position in a couple of banks, in American Express and in Bank of America like you noted, but what do you think prompted all of that selling? I mean, do you feel like he's looking at the banking industry, a lot of us are looking at it right now and thinking, well, this interest rate environment is just so, so tough for banks to really do much, it's not going to be something that changes in the near term at least, but do you feel like that's part of what drove all of the selling or is there something else to it?
Frankel: Well, just by looking at the snapshot that this report provides, my initial reaction would be that Buffett's, kind of, losing his faith in the bank sector in terms of value. He doesn't see as much value anymore. But now that we've learned that he actually bought a ton of Bank of America after the end of the quarter, it seems like he just is shifting money from the banks where he doesn't see as much value, perhaps, to one that he sees a lot of long-term value creation. Because, I mean, I can make the argument that no bank has been more of a turnaround since the financial crisis than Bank of America, for a while they were, [laughs] you know, pretty much priced as if they were going to collapse for a while there. And I mean, Brian Moynihan has done a fantastic job with Bank of America just in terms of asset quality, building it back up. He really breathed new life into the Merrill Lynch brand since they acquired that during the financial crisis, got rid of some of the other, you know, the bad assets that were on the books.
And it's still, it's not really priced accordingly. I mean, when you look at the Bank of America's price-to-book compared to, say, JPMorgan Chase, it's no comparison. JPMorgan Chase is a more expensive bank stock. So, my theory is that Buffett just sees a lot more value in Bank of America right now. He's not exiting all these bank positions entirely, other than Goldman Sachs, there are still -- I mean, we say, he really trimmed Wells Fargo a lot, this is still like a $6 billion or $7 billion position. So, it's not like he got rid of it entirely. So, it's not necessarily that he's losing faith in the banks, it's that he's shifting money into the bank where he sees the most long-term value. If I was a Bank of America shareholder, which I am, I would be very encouraged by this.
Moser: [laughs] Well, I am not, but maybe I should be. I am a Bank of America customer and I got to say, you know, it's always been a very good banking experience from the consumer side.
Frankel: Hey, maybe you should, I mean, he sold your war on cash stocks, so maybe you should take a look.
Moser: Yeah, we're going to have to have a word or two with him about that because, I mean, I don't -- listen, man, he's a smart guy, they've done a lot of great there. I'm not sure I'm on board with selling Visa and Mastercard, but maybe that could be another show [laughs] entirely, Matt.
Well, let's move on from banks. So, he's obviously not seeing the same value in the banking industry that he perhaps once saw, but he is seeing a lot of value, certainly, in Store Capital, Matt. And that is a real estate investment trust we talked about before on the show. As a matter of fact, several months ago when you published a poll on Twitter regarding REITs and investment returns over the coming decade, Store Capital was the second-best vote-getter from that poll. Remind us a little bit what Store Capital does and why you think Buffett is making such a big addition to that position.
Frankel: Sure. Well, Store Capital, like you said, it's a real estate investment trust, they're what's known as a net-lease real estate investment trust. Net-lease REITs essentially buy single-tenant properties. And they specialize in properties occupied by service businesses, in particular. Businesses that sell a service to people. On the downside, think things like movie theaters right now; but on the upside, think like auto repair centers. I think Bass Pro Shops is a big tenant of theirs on the retail side. They've some just straight-up retailers. Restaurants are a big part of the portfolio; restaurants are the biggest part of their portfolio.
So, they own single-tenant properties. The reason that net-lease REITs can make such a great long-term investment is because they're very predictable. These tenants not only sign long-term leases -- think like a 15-year lease -- the switching costs are very high. Generally, a restaurant doesn't leave its building unless it absolutely has to. The switching costs are really high. There's usually annual rent increases, which are called escalators, built right into these leases. And the net-lease part means that the tenants are responsible for property taxes, building insurance and maintenance costs, which are pretty much all the variable expenses of owning a property, all the landlord has to do is put a good tenant in place and collect, literally, decades of worry-free growing income. So, that's why this can make...
Moser: Sounds like a nice gig.
Frankel: Right. So, you can see why that appeals to Buffett so much.
Frankel: So, in recent months, since the pandemic, I mentioned they own a lot of restaurants, which have been closed for most of the pandemic, they own a lot of movie theaters, they have some day care centers -- they have about a third of their portfolio is businesses that have really been affected. So, the stock dropped from roughly $40/share to about $25, where it is right now. During the height of the pandemic it was much, much lower, but now it's back at about $25. So, it's still very cheap compared to where it was in February. So, Buffett might have taken some advantage of this.
At one point he owed almost 10% of Store Capital. They issued a lot more shares to raise money to, you know, fund acquisitions and things like that. So, Buffett's stake got, not diluted, but it became a lesser percentage of the company. So, he essentially bought just enough to have right under 10% of the REIT again. He added 31% to the stake and now he owns 9.99% of [laughs] Store Capital, so he's just under that little, that magical 10% number.
It's a great dividend stock, it pays over 5% right now. So, there's a lot of things to really like about the business model that I think really appeals to Buffett. It's not really practical to own more than 10% of any real estate investment trust. In fact, there are regulatory rules against it, even more so than with banks. One of the conditions of being a REIT is no five shareholders can own more than 50%. So, in practice, REITs generally limit any one shareholder to 10%.
But I love Store Capital, I'm a shareholder of that one. So, Buffett is buying some of the stocks in my portfolio [laughs] it looks like.
Moser: I mean, you got to feel good about that. I mean, I certainly see the logic, sort of, in that Store Capital thesis, though. I mean, a situation where a lot of those businesses are depressed right now, you can see at least the event on the horizon that could turn that around, right? As things reopen, as we get back to a little bit more of normalcy. Granted, I don't know that we'll ever fully return to normal, I mean, I think normal is going to be somewhat new in many cases, but regardless, I mean you can see the catalyst there to turn that business around. So, yeah, I mean, it sounds like maybe he's buying something on the cheap and can afford to be patient.
Frankel: For sure. And movie theaters aside, movie theaters are the one part that really worries me at this point. You know, in most of the country movie theaters are still closed, I think some AMC theaters are starting to reopen, but not that many. But as far as the restaurants, day care centers and things like that, like I mentioned, these are businesses that sign leases that are over a decade long. So, Store Capital has these businesses committed to paying rent for years and years; as long as they survive the pandemic, they'll be just fine. And Store Capital really has -- one of the competitive advantages that drew Buffett to the stock in the first place -- Store Capital requires their tenants to provide property-level financial statements, meaning that Store Capital knows exactly how profitable each location is that its tenants lease. So, it helps to be proactive when it comes to, does this tenant need a rent adjustment, can they afford to keep paying rent, do we need to defer some of it, should we start looking for a new tenant; things to that effect. So, it has, kind of, a unique insight into what could happen before it does happen because of these property-level financials that it requires.
Someone just asked, what's the symbol for Store Capital? And that is STOR, I should mention that.
So, there's definitely a turnaround potential. I don't think most of Store's restaurants are going to close, I don't think the day care centers are going to close; these are businesses that provide things people need. The reality is, most Americans don't want to cook at home for seven dinners a week, and, you know, most Americans don't -- you know, they need day care. [laughs] I mean, if I didn't have day care, I wouldn't be talking to you at this moment.
So, most of their businesses provide services people need, they provide services that are usually recession-resistant, you know, day care centers do well in recessions normally, this just happens to be a recession that closed down day care centers for the most part. You know, family entertainment centers tend to do pretty well in recessions, relatively, just because people still need to get out and people still need to be entertained. I mean, there's a reason these businesses survived the '08-'09 recession. So, I like Store Capital long-term, especially at the current valuation.
Moser: Well, that makes sense to me. Help me with this third one here, Matt, because I feel like Buffett has a pretty decent history, and I'm not going to say he trashes gold, but he's kind of always been, you know, gold doesn't really do anything, what does it do, therefore what kind of investment is it? But he bought a gold stock, didn't he? So, I mean, isn't that the ultimate old-guy move? I mean, what's going on here?
Frankel: [laughs] Well, first of all, it's important to realize he bought a company called Barrick Gold, which is a gold miner, he's not actually buying physical gold, so that's the one big distinction when you read the headlines, Buffett bought gold, but he didn't actually -- you know, he didn't spent $500 million and buy like a warehouse full of gold; it's a gold mining company. So, to be clear, we don't know, first of all, if Buffett himself made that investment. If you remember, his stock picking guys, Ted and Todd, they both control billions of dollars of Berkshire's assets. And in recent years a lot of the surprising investments turned out to have come from them, like Amazon. Remember when Berkshire added Amazon, that was -- the Apple stake was initially invested in by one of them. So, we don't know that it came from Buffett himself; it could've been one of the other guys.
But let's say that it did, we have no idea why they might have made this investment, Buffett has been very, very bearish on gold as an investment for a long, long time, as you just pointed out. He generally views gold as an unproductive asset, meaning that it doesn't produce income, you can't rent it out to somebody, you can't use it to make anything, unlike a stock or a business or a real estate or anything like that; it doesn't produce anything.
Beyond that, not only does it not produce anything, but it's not really useful in the real world. You know, when you think of some other unproductive assets, let's say, copper or steel. Those are actually used to build things, so at the end of the day there is a natural source of demand for those, whereas gold just, kind of, sits there. You know, you can use it to make jewelry, but that's a very small percentage of the gold in the world is used to make jewelry. Other than that, it just sits there. It actually costs you money, because you have to store it, you have to protect it, because people will steal your gold if it's just sitting on your desk. So, it actually costs you money and it doesn't produce anything.
So, my theory, and you can kind of debate me on this if you want to, is that he bought Barrick Gold because of the economics of the business. Barrick Gold produced, let me see, I have the number right here, 5.5 million ounces of gold last year at an average production cost of under $900/ounce. As I'm talking, gold trades for $2,000/ounce. So, if you can produce something for less than $900 and turn around and sell it for $2,000, those are pretty decent economics.
So, I don't know if it's a short-term play, maybe he saw a mispricing in gold, maybe he, kind of, foresaw that gold would be a flight to safety during the pandemic and some demand would be popping up -- we don't know, and we may never know. Buffett is notoriously tight-lipped on most of his investments. I mean, when you think about the 50 or so stocks in Berkshire's portfolio, there are just a handful where I could tell you definitively why Buffett bought them, because he said so. There aren't that many of them. And Bank of America is one; he's mentioned things about Bank of America. Apple is another one. But really other than the big ones, there really aren't a bunch that he comments on specifically. I mean, he didn't even mention the airlines that much until we already knew he bought all four of them and was getting [laughs] ready to sell them again.
So, we may never know why he bought it, it does seem like a pivot at first. But when you realize he didn't buy gold, he bought a business, that the reason he doesn't like gold is because it's an unproductive asset. Well, a business is a productive asset, so this isn't as un-Buffett of an investment as it may appear to be, but it's definitely the most surprising one on the 13F.
Moser: Well, I do like that thinking, though, and I agree with you. I wouldn't debate you at all on that, because I fully agree. I think he's acknowledging, hey, he's not the biggest gold buff [laughs] in the world, and that's fine, plenty of people out there love it. So, that notwithstanding, there's a business out here that is in the business of actually mining it and getting it, and they do a good job with it, and you can see that they do a good job with it through the economics of the business, therefore there's the opportunity. I certainly see that. And that makes a lot more sense; no question there.
What other notable moves, beyond the Mastercard and Visa sales, anything else stand out to you for the quarter?
Frankel: Well, this was a pretty active quarter for Buffett. Overall, he was a net seller of stocks; that's the first thing that's worth noting. We mentioned all the banks sales. In addition, during this quarter, he sold all the airlines stakes, which we already knew about, but that was reflected in this report. He sold all of his Occidental Petroleum stock, which he never really bought, he received it as a dividend, if you remember. Berkshire invested $10 billion in Occidental and the company -- as a debt investment, he essentially lent them $10 billion. And if they need to, they're allowed to pay their interest payments in stock rather than cash, if they're trying to conserve cash, which they are right now. So, they gave him a stock dividend and he went ahead and sold it. So, that wasn't that big of a deal.
Let's see, Kroger, he added 15% to his Kroger stake, so he looks likely to be bullish on grocery stores. And other than that, there weren't that many big surprises to me. He added to his Liberty Sirius XM stake and sold some SiriusXM, which, to me, sounds kind of like a wash. He sold QSR, which is the parent company of Burger King and Tim Hortons. He sold all of that stake, which wasn't a very big investment.
But yeah, the banks, Store Capital, and gold were the three biggest ones in my mind. The airlines would have been a big one if we didn't already know about it, that would have been the headline, but we already knew that he'd sold all four airlines going into this, so it wasn't that big of a surprise. And Occidental, like I said, wasn't that big of a surprise.
Now, Berkshire has $144 billion or so of cash, which he keeps adding to it, it's just a matter of time before this company is all-cash.
Moser: [laughs] Well, you said net seller, and they certainly aren't normally net sellers. I mean, they often profess their love of being net buyers. So, maybe he really is, you know, as we like to say, he's, sort of, pull the weeds and water the flowers and maybe he's got some flowers that he's looking at. So, it'll be fun to continue following this and check out next quarter's 13F. I always appreciate you digging through that.
One thing I wanted to get to here real quick before we jump into our stocks to watch this coming week, you had an article recently on Fool.com and it was something you wrote in regard to refinancing. And, you know, in this current interest rate environment, refinancing is certainly something that seems like the demand for refinancing continues to grow. I know that we're in the middle of refinancing our house here, you mentioned that you guys are in the middle of refinancing your house there. But you talked about in this article, like, a 30-second calculation that folks can perform really quickly to see if they should refinance their home. And I just wanted to give you a chance here, real quick, to talk about that 30-second calculation, because it's a good time to remind folks that this interest rate environment is probably, kind of, once-in-a-lifetime [laughs] and if you do own a home, it is not a bad idea to at least inquire about it.
And I mean, you may think you've got a 4% rate and there's no reason to refinance, I beg to differ, you absolutely should look at it. And so, I wanted to give you a real quick moment here to talk about that 30-second calculation and what it could mean for listeners who are thinking about refinancing?
Frankel: What's really funny, you mentioned that exact number, because my current mortgage is at 4% and it's totally worth refinancing right now.
Moser: [laughs] Yeah, ours was just a little bit higher. And absolutely, we are going to do very well with this refinance, for sure.
Frankel: Well, [laughs] before I get into that, Warren Buffett has called the 30-year mortgage one of the best financial products for Americans because of this, because it's a one-way renegotiation, you can lower your rate if market rates drop, but they can't raise yours. You know, if you lock-in right now what -- I don't know what you're getting, I'm getting just over 3% on a new one.
Moser: That's what we're getting, too.
Frankel: So, we're doing just over 3% and that's what it's going to be for the next 30 years. And guess what, if mortgage rates fall to 1% or 2%, we can refinance again. So, it's a one-way renegotiation, which is really cool.
But getting back to the 30-second calculation, it's worth mentioning that refinancing is not free. I'm sure you have a list of closing costs you're paying for your refinancing; we have the same thing. If you know of a lender that doesn't charge any closing cost for refinancing, send them my way because I haven't heard of it. But even if your lender doesn't have an origination fee, which a lot don't anymore, especially if you're doing an online mortgage lender, you're still going to have to pay things like, a title search fee and appraisal fee. You have a list of closing costs that's usually -- I think in my case, my closing costs are about $3,000.
So, it's not free to refinance, but the 30-second calculation, and I'll post this along with the podcast, is that essentially you need to make sure that the savings you get from refinancing are going to outweigh the cost of refinancing. For example, I mentioned the cost of refinancing for me is about $3,000. So, let's say that I lower my mortgage payment by $100/month; just to put a nice round number on it. So, that means I would need to stay in my house -- if I'm in my house 30 months from now, I'll break even, I would have spent $3,000 to refinance, I would have gotten $3,000 in savings on my payment. So, after the 30 months, then it becomes true savings.
So, the calculation is basically talking about, are you going to be in your house long enough to make refinancing worth it? And it walks you through the calculation, taking the difference between your current mortgage payment and your new one, comparing that with the cost of refinancing, which your lender should easily be able to provide. And you should get a loan estimate even before you commit to it.
So, by comparing those two, you can see if it's going to be worth it for you to refinance. And generally speaking, and this is just a good rule of thumb, if you can get an interest rate that's at least 1% less than you're currently paying, you know, like going from a 4% rate to a 3% rate, it's a no-brainer, you almost don't even have to do the calculation at that point, as long as you're going to be in the house for a little while. But if it's -- you know, because right now, like I said, my current mortgage is at 4%, the refinancing one is a little over 3%, so it's not quite a 1% gap, it's worth just, kind of, quickly doing the math. But you might be surprised at how much you save; [laughs] money is cheap right now.
Moser: It is. And you know, I think another thing that's important to remember, too, is that, with refinancing, in most cases, almost all of the costs involved with that, you can roll into the loan, so you're essentially financing those costs as well. I mean, there might be a couple of straggling costs here and there that you have to pay in cash, but generally speaking, you can roll most of those costs back into the actual loan itself. So, you tend to not really have to go to the table with any cash, you know, unless you're pulling cash out for the refinance, but that's just another -- you can't do that when you purchase a home, but when you refinance a home, you can. So, it makes that hurdle, you know, that much lower.
So, yeah, I think that's a great way to look at it, that 1% rule of thumb, I agree with, that's what we always used when I was in the lending business. And, yeah, I mean, it's just an easy way to make your cash flow situation a little bit better. And I think right now everybody could probably use that, so we'll make sure and tweet that article out there on the Industry Focus feed. So, we appreciate you talking us through that, Matt.
And before we wrap up here this week, let's get into ones to watch. We got two stocks for you guys to keep your eyes on this coming week. Matt, what is your one to watch this week?
Frankel: I am watching Warren Buffett's favorite bank, Bank of America. It's getting a nice little pop today because, you know, all the other banks are [laughs] going down because he sold them. But if it stays at the current valuation, I might even add to my position. It's one of my biggest holdings already. And like I said, I think Brian Moynihan has done a fantastic job at Bank of America and I have no reason to believe it's not worth a higher premium than it trades for.
Moser: Yeah, that's a good one. Again, back to the consumer experience, it really did a great job with it, I think. So, I can certainly understand Buffett's affection toward it as well.
I am going to be paying attention to Home Depot, not a pure financial stock, of course, but I think it's becoming a very good barometer for what is going on from an economic [laughs] perspective here in our country during this trying time. Daily foot traffic to Home Depot stores since April has been running at least 35% above last year's numbers, and that's coming from cellphone tracking data.
So, like, these companies that can just, sort of, see where cellphones are and where they're going and whatnot. I mean, the traffic in Home Depot has been just going crazy. And a lot of people have a little bit of free time on their hands, so they're doing some home renovations, painting, building, fixing. And certainly, Home Depot is benefiting from that. The stock is having a very good year, and earnings tomorrow morning, Tuesday morning. I'd be very interested to see how they view the remainder of the year.
But, Matt, I think that's going to do it for us this week. Glad you got back from vacation safely. You look well-rested; you sound well-rested. And I really appreciate you digging through that Berkshire 13F for us.
Frankel: Absolutely! Always good to be here, and it should be a little while before I miss another one, but Jason and Dan did a great job, so. They said they're willing to do it again if I need them.
Moser: Well, we'll keep that in our back pocket.
That's going to do it for us this week, folks. Remember you can always reach out to us on Twitter @MFIndustryFocus or you can drop us an email at IndustryFocus@Fool.com.
As always, people on the program may have interests in the stocks they talk about, and The Motley Fool may have formal recommendations for or against, so don't buy or sell stocks based solely on what you hear.
Thanks to Tim Sparks, as always, for making the magic behind the glass, or well, the Zoom, really, I guess, for making that magic happen. Thanks, Tim. For Matt Frankel, I'm Jason Moser, thanks for listening and we'll see you next week.