As a young man, Warren Buffett learned from Benjamin Graham, a man who would come to be known as "the father of value investing." Graham wrote the classic book on value investing, The Intelligent Investor. Buffett has called it "the best book about investing ever written."
Thanks in large part to the influence of Benjamin Graham, Buffett became a value investor himself. Through the years, he became more open to buying stocks that didn't totally adhere to Graham's principles. However, Buffett still likes a bargain when he can find one for Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK.A 0.41%) (BRK.B 0.11%) portfolio.
Are there some value stocks in Berkshire's holdings right now? Absolutely. Here are three value stocks Buffett owns that you should consider buying too.
Berkshire recently loaded up on big pharma stocks, including the purchase of nearly 21.3 million shares of AbbVie (ABBV 0.89%). Buffett probably liked the idea of buying a cash cow that trades well below nine times expected earnings.
AbbVie's bargain-bin valuation stems primarily from the looming headwinds for its top-selling drug, Humira. The autoimmune disease drug already has lost market share in Europe because of biosimilar competition. Humira faces biosimilar rivals in the U.S. beginning in 2023.
However, AbbVie has known for a long time that the day would come when it couldn't rely on Humira's huge sales. The company has built a solid lineup of other winners, notably including blood cancer drugs Imbruvica and Venclexta. It has also developed worthy successors to Humira with Rinvoq and Skyrizi now on the market and gaining major momentum.
The upcoming challenges for Humira will likely constrain AbbVie's growth prospects for a while. Buffett is a patient investor, though, and usually doesn't mind waiting when he knows he invested at an attractive price. In this case, he'll be paid handsomely to wait: AbbVie's dividend yields nearly 5%.
2. Bristol Myers Squibb
Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY 0.30%) is another big pharma stock recently added to Berkshire's portfolio. And like AbbVie, BMS is a bargain. Its shares currently trade at a little over eight times expected earnings.
With its acquisition of Celgene last year, BMS picked up Revlimid, a megablockbuster blood cancer drug. The bad news is that Revlimid will begin to face limited-volume generic competition in 2022. The good news is that the Celgene deal gave BMS plenty of other rising stars, including another blood cancer drug, Pomalyst, and multiple sclerosis drug Zeposia.
BMS already had some big winners of its own. Sales continue to climb for blood thinner Eliquis, autoimmune disease drug Orencia, and cancer immunotherapy Yervoy. The company has gained new indications for its other top cancer immunotherapy, Opdivo, that should fuel additional growth.
These products along with a robust pipeline should enable BMS to generate average annual earnings growth of more than 20% over the next few years. BMS also pays a dividend that yields a little under 3%. This stock looks like a great pick for Buffett and for ordinary investors.
Continuing with the pharma theme, Berkshire also scooped up shares of Pfizer (PFE 0.52%) in the third quarter of 2020. Although Pfizer isn't as cheap as AbbVie and Bristol Myers Squibb, its shares trade at only 12 times expected earnings. That's a lot lower than the S&P 500's forward price-to-earnings multiple of 22.
Pfizer's discount valuation is directly connected with its abysmal revenue and earnings growth in recent years. Sales for a basket of the company's older drugs have plunged as they lost patent exclusivity. However, that's in the past.
It's a whole new ballgame for Pfizer now. The company recently completed the merger of its Upjohn unit (home to those older drugs with declining sales) with Mylan to form a new company, Viatris. This paves the way for Pfizer to return to much stronger growth. And that growth could be accelerated thanks to Pfizer's promising COVID-19 vaccine.
Pfizer's dividend will be a little lower going forward after the Upjohn-Mylan transaction. However, the yield will still be attractive. There's a good chance that Pfizer will deliver market-beating total returns over the next decade. Buffett probably won't regret buying the big pharma stock. Investors who aren't famous billionaires probably won't, either.