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Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Slashed Wells Fargo Stake in Q1, Added to Kroger and Verizon

By Eric Volkman - May 18, 2021 at 5:14PM

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The company's latest portfolio breakdown reveals a few significant changes.

One of the most anticipated and closely scrutinized regulatory documents has been filed: Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK.A -0.87%) (BRK.B -0.78%) 13F. This is the quarterly breakdown of the Warren Buffett-led company's considerable holdings in publicly traded companies.

As ever, at the end of the first quarter, the constantly shifting Berkshire portfolio saw some changes from the preceding quarter, several of which were quite dramatic. On the whole when making a quarter-over-quarter comparison, the company did more selling than buying.

Warren Buffett.

Image source: The Motley Fool.

For instance, the company revealed in the filing that has entirely liquidated its approximately $700 million position in store credit card specialist Synchrony Financial.

Elsewhere in the financial sector, Berkshire drastically trimmed its stake in one of its more classic investments, Wells Fargo. Its position declined to just over 675,000 shares, from the previous quarter's tally of nearly 52.5 million.

Several positions in other sectors were also cut. The pharmaceutical sector saw a set of chops, as Berkshire reduced stakes in AbbVie, Merck, and Bristol Myers Squibb. Meanwhile, the company reduced its General Motors position, and those of energy giant Chevron and satellite radio king Sirius XM Holdings.

On the other hand, Berkshire significantly ramped up its investment in supermarket chain operator Kroger, boosting its position by 52% to over 51 million shares. Another notable addition was the roughly 12 million shares in the company's Verizon Communications stake; this stood at 159 million shares at the end of the first quarter.

One new investment for Berkshire during the quarter was in insurance company Aon, with a relatively modest stake of 4.1 million shares.

Meanwhile, two of the larger Berkshire positions -- those of Bank of America and Apple -- remained unchanged.

As neither Buffett nor Berkshire itself typically comments on its 13Fs, the reasons for their various adjustments were not immediately apparent.

 

Bank of America is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. Synchrony Financial is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. Wells Fargo is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. Eric Volkman owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple, Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), and Bristol Myers Squibb. The Motley Fool recommends Sirius XM Radio and Verizon Communications and recommends the following options: long January 2023 $200 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), long March 2023 $120 calls on Apple, short January 2023 $200 puts on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), short June 2021 $240 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), and short March 2023 $130 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Stock Quote
Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
BRK.B
$304.26 (-0.78%) $-2.39
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Stock Quote
Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
BRK.A
$457,277.49 (-0.87%) $-4,022.50
Verizon Communications Inc. Stock Quote
Verizon Communications Inc.
VZ
$45.34 (-1.00%) $0.46
The Kroger Co. Stock Quote
The Kroger Co.
KR
$48.55 (-1.08%) $0.53
Aon plc Stock Quote
Aon plc
AON
$300.40 (-0.20%) $0.60

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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